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The ‘come ye’ call: Meditation for the 5th sunday after trinity

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Princewill O. Ireoba


Introduction
Last week, we noted that Godís call is not complete without the Go yeî call. This week, we need to further note that Godís call begins, continues and ends with ‘Come ye’. When God calls, it is firstly, ìCome yeî after or follow me. If in the course of following, the person derails, the call becomes, Come ye back to me. And at the end (after the ìGo yeî and accomplishing the assignment), the call becomes: ìCome yeî to me and have eternal rest. Godís call of ìCome yeî is to His presence ñ to move and have our being in His presence. Godís presence is like two- edged sword, which can both destroy and defend. It is a blessing and rewarding experience to be in the presence of God. But it is a consuming fire for those who are not compatible. Therefore, we need to prepare ourselves to remain in the presence of God. Since God is holy, we also must be holy. As it is written: ëBut just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ìBe holy, because I am holy.îí (1Pet.1: 15-16). We need to repent from our sins and keep away from evil and wickedness. The Readings For The Day (Mattins): 2 Sam. 12:1-18a Or -23; Acts 9:1-22

Call To Repentance
In the OT passage, David derailed from the path of righteousness by committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband, Uriah. By so doing, he drifted away from God, even without being conscious of it. So, he received a ìCome yeî back call from God through Nathan the Prophet. Nathan skilfully and tactfully confronted the king with his sins by means of a parable. The king had become so insensitive to his sins that he did not realise he was the villain in Nathanís story whom he outrightly condemned. It often happens that what we condemn in others are our own character flaws. In condemning the man in Nathanís story, David condemned himself. He became convicted of his sins and returned to God in repentance. God forgave him, received him back and restored him. However, the punishment pronounced on him came to pass:
ï Murder was a constant threat in his family (13:26-30; 18:14-15; 1 Kings 2:23-25);
ï His household rebelled against him (15:13);
ï His wives were laid by another in public view (16:20-23);
ï His first child by Bathsheba died (12:18).
Sin is bad because even when you are forgiven, you may have set into motion events with irreversible consequences.

Call To Know And Serve The Lord:
The New Testament passage is a record of the conversion of Saul. Saul was a devout Pharisee and persecutor of Christians who became Paul the apostle, missionary and foremost theologian. As he was travelling to Damascus to persecute Christians, he was confronted by the risen Christ and brought face to face with the truth of the gospel. He had a divine encounter and a ìCome yeî call. A light from heaven flashed him and a voice addressed him, which brought the divine revelation and a dawning realisation that his life, though lived in zeal for the one true God to the point of persecuting the obvious heretics had in reality been one of ìignorance in unbeliefî (1 Tim 1:13). He had actually been against (persecuting) the Lord, Who now called him to come to Him and be/work for Him.

Paulís response of surrender in penitence and faith resulted to a divine disclosure – I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting- and a directive that required his trust and obedience. In the city, he would learn what he must do. He was led to incorporation into the church and gaining her support and encouragement. Being born again is being born into the family of God, the church. To be converted means to move from self-centred independence to dependence on the Lord and interdependence with fellow disciples. In heeding the ìCome yeî call, Godís task/purpose for Saul was specified – chosen instrument to carry the Lordís name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel and to suffer for Jesus’ name.

Ven. Dr. Princewill O. Ireoba is the Rector,
Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.



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Princewill Ireoba
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