The Summons

… there is no way to truly have a relationship with God without it impacting the purpose displayed in our living. These tangible fruits of Gods presence come not in perfect holiness, but in a deep willingness to jump into the messiness of life with both feet.

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name? Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known, will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

One of my all-time favorite hymns, this first came into my life at a Montreat Youth Conference, like the one from which I have just returned. The lyrics are rich and candid about the relationship and the work to which God calls us. There is honesty of our resistance and there is frankness in our stumbling blocks. The writers know us followers of Christ quite well and expands our vision of how God sees us greatly.

The beauty of this piece is that is weaves together relationship with purpose. Though much of modern “Christian culture” would likely disagree, there is no way to truly have a relationship with God without it impacting the purpose displayed in our living. These tangible fruits of Gods presence come not in perfect holiness, but in a deep willingness to jump into the messiness of life with both feet. In other words, to answer the summons of God.

So listen now to the words of this hymn and my hope is that you will find the courage to use the final verse as a prayer:

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name? Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same? Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare? Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name? Will you set the prisoners’ free and never be the same? Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen, and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name? Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same? Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around, through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name. Let me turn and follow you and never be the same. In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show. Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

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