“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” -Colossians 1:19-20
Many of us over the years experienced a similar event, whether in a church revival, conference or church camp. There was always an inspirational speaker who stirred hearts to God’s great work in the world.
Most evenings there was an invitation to “Come to Jesus” and get your life right, but one message was always reserved for a “Call to the Ministry.” The preacher would pose the question, “Who here is called to full-time ministry?” Many individuals would raise their hands and move to the front to confirm their call.
Some would always come, but most remained in their seats. “The Call to Ministry” was clearly understood as something special. These were the people who were giving their lives for a special work, either in the church or on the mission field. These rare individuals were giving up their desire for money, fame, or glory.
They were called, the rest of us weren’t.
The problem with this approach has nothing to do with a person’s specific desire to work on the mission field or in a church. That is a unique and special calling indeed. The problem is that it instills an assumption that “Calling” is only meant for those who work in these two fields.
This assumption has divided faith into“the spiritual,” and the “Secular” pursuits of life. It divides the faith into two categories, of “Sacred and Secular.” This is a divide that Christ never intended for his church.
Every true Christian, everywhere, in every place is called to full-time ministry. Some will be called to the mission field or the church, but most of us are called to be ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through our different vocations in the world; in parenthood, business, law, politics, science, education, factory worker or janitor, each of these vocations in endowed with the majestic call of our creator and redeemer.
Each has a dignity and honor of its own. Each area of work has the capacity to spread the name of Jesus in and bring all things under his reign. Jesus is King over all creation.
He is Lord over the pastor, the politician and the paperclip.
This is what Colossians 1:19-20 is trying to say. God was pleased to write Himself into our human story; fully God and fully man. His goal wasn’t just to save human souls but reconcile the whole creation. Through his life, death, resurrection and exaltation, Jesus is calling his disciples everywhere to join him, in all human pursuits to redeem every inch of this universe for his name.