Mark 2:13-17 speaks of the healing of purpose. Jesus invites Levi, a tax collector working for the Roman oppressors, to follow him. Levi was challenged to look at his personal and professional life from a new perspective. It has been said that a person’s calling or vocation is the intersection of her or his gifts and passions and the world’s needs and hungers. I believe that each of us has many callings – personal, professional, relational, political – and that God has many visions for our lives. God presents us with possibilities and the energy to achieve them and then allows us to respond out of our own freedom and creativity.
Because Levi was a tax collector, Jesus was criticized for sharing a meal him. Jesus’ response was clear: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come not to call the righteous but sinners.” God loves “good people” but God’s care also embraces the “unclean” or “marginalized” in our world – persons with AIDS/HIV, immigrants, undocumented workers. God wants abundant life for all persons, and God has visions for each and every one of us.
As you ponder the story of Levi, take time to contemplate your own calling in life – Do you feel joy and passion in your profession? Do you experience meaning in your vocation? What new possibilities are emerging in your life? What healing steps can you take to move ahead or find clarity in your vocation (vocations)?
God is speaking to me through my gifts and talents.
God wants me to have abundant life.
My gifts and talents are intended to bless others.
Bruce Epperly is a theologian, spiritual guide, healing companion, retreat leader and lecturer, and author of nineteen books, including Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living; God’s Touch: Faith, Wholeness, and the Healing Miracles of Jesus; and Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry. He has taught at Georgetown University, Wesley Theological Seminary, Claremont School of Theology, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. He is currently theologian in residence at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His most recent book Process Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed will be released in May 2011. He can be reached for lectures, seminars, and retreats at firstname.lastname@example.org