As I seek to discern the call of Christ, the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, specifically verses 27 and 28, have led me to reflect on the kind of person who is chosen by God. The wisdom of God which Paul describes as choosing “even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are” challenges me to consider if I am one who would be chosen. Henri Nouwen’s analysis of this wisdom has been etched in my mind: “God has chosen to be revealed in a crucified humanity.”
I am forced to consider my calling. Unlike the believers at Corinth Paul describes, I find I could be considered wise according to some worldly standards and I do hold a measure of worldly power, at least in comparison to the world’s majority. If God chooses a crucified humanity, what might that mean for those of us like myself who have experienced nothing of a crucifixion? Has God not chosen us?
I have found a new perspective on these questions in a book entitled Friendship at the Margins by Chris Heuertz and Christine Pohl. By making everyday decisions to invest more of my time and energy into relationships with those the world leaves behind, I choose the way of Christ – who is The Chosen One. While living in the midst of a world obsessed with security, pleasure, and power, I can make room in my heart and mind by choosing to be shaped by the low and despised of this world. In this new space of “things that are not,” the Spirit makes his home and begins “to bring to nothing the things that are” in me. It is the little child, who is free from the burdens of worldly power, wisdom, and strength, that the Spirit is teaching me to become. And it is only the little child, as Christ tells his disciples in Luke 18, who is prepared to receive the Kingdom of God. My questions change from “Am I one who would be chosen?” to “Am I one who is able to receive what is being given?” Instead of a requirement to earn chosen status, I have found grace in His invitation to receive it.