The pattern of calling: challenge, encounter, invitation and response



We invite you to peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.Light for the Way devotional series

By Optage Hospice Chaplain Nick Matchefts

“Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” —Luke 5:10-11, NIV

When I reflect on my life, one thing I notice is that every major turning point has come about through a similar pattern. At each, there has been a person who helped me to see myself in a new light and gain the courage to embrace something new. I can name a few of these: a first friend in Minnesota who introduced me to swimming; a friend in the Air Force who introduced me to: a new way of following Jesus; a fresh encounter with Jesus Himself through God’s Word and prayer. All these interactions changed the course of my life. All feature a challenge, a personal encounter, an invitation, and a response. I bet you could name a few of your own.

The pattern is reflected in today’s Scripture: the call of Jesus’ first disciples in Luke 5. I encourage you to read it. The story features a compelling pattern. First, the call comes on the cusp of change — God was doing a new thing. Second, there’s an encounter with the living God. Simon and his companions suddenly realized Jesus’ divine nature and shared an initial reaction: unworthiness. Jesus responds with spiritual healing and an invitation to join in God’s new work. Their response was an immediate: ‘Yes!’ Challenge, encounter, invitation, response.

One’s sense of call can shift over time, taking its shape from one’s context. Now, healthcare around the world is in crisis, challenging our mission to help senior adults finish their lives well. What is our part? The answer begins as it did with that first experience of call — with encounter and invitation. The stage is set for a new thing. We all have a part to play. What is yours?

Rev. Nick Matchefts serves as a hospice chaplain with Optage Hospice. He is an ordained Baptist pastor. Prior to Optage, Nick served in seminary education (Bethel Seminary), congregational ministry, and a long time ago, the US Air Force. He, his wife Lori and daughter Catelyn live in the Twin Cities and dream about canoeing and star gazing in the lake country of Northern Minnesota.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

Find more in the Light for the Way series:

An eternal perspective
Replace your New Year’s resolution with…
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series



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