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June 3rd, 2018

A Sermon preached at Christ Episcopal Church in Millwood, VA on June 3, 2018.
2 Pentecost, Year B (RCL): 1 Samuel 3:1-10, [11-20]; Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17; 2 Corinthians 4:5-12; Mark 2:23-3:6

Come Christian Triune God who lives, Here I am ~ Shake the world again. Amen.

     There’s a story about a game warden in a not-too-far-away county who received word that a poacher was shooting deer out of season on his property. The poacher had been up to these shenanigans for some time, but no one had been able to catch him in the act. So, one morning, the game warden decided to sneak up to the man’s property, spy on him, catch him in the act of poaching, and arrest him.
     Before dawn, the game warden left his car out by the road, hiked deep into the woods, and quietly made his way into the thick brush just behind the alleged poacher’s cabin. A few minutes went by in the still of that morning before he saw a light come on in the cabin.  A few minutes later, the back door opened.  The man stepped out into the cold air.  He cupped his hands to his mouth and shouted out, “Hey, warden, you want to come in for a hot cup of coffee?”  Well, the game warden was dumbfounded.  He sat there for a second, but figuring his cover was blown, and seeing there was no sense sitting out there in the cold for the rest of the day, he stood up from his hiding place and said, “Sure. Sounds good.”
     The two men went into the cabin and sat down for coffee. After a few moments, the warden looked across the table and said, “I have just one question.  How did you know I was out there this morning trying to spy on you?”
     The poacher said, “I didn’t, but every morning I open my door and call for you, just in case you might be there.”
     Every morning … every year … every moment … God’s call to follow and to serve comes to us and God awaits a response … just in case we might be listening. We might not hear it.  More commonly, we may not recognize it.  Even more likely, we may be paying attention to something else, preoccupied with ourselves and our own agendas.  But God’s call is nevertheless issued.  God’s Word is still sent forth with a persistent urgency and with a gracious frequency that we could never expect.
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