Posted on: May 26th, 2024 by St. Stephens Downsview

Hello, dear readers. Today, I am excited to share a reflection that is both personal and inspirational, grounded in our celebration of Guyana’s Independence Day and enriched with scriptural wisdom from John’s gospel. Join me as I recount my journey of faith, the continuous calling of God in my life, and how each of us can respond to God’s divine invitations.

Greetings and Celebration

If you did not know that today was Guyana’s Independence Day, take a moment to look around. It is wonderful to see so many friends, particularly those who are celebrating this special day. To commemorate, I want to share some words from John’s gospel. In John chapter 3, verses 3 and 5, Jesus said:

“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above. No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit.”

These powerful words lay the foundation for a deeper exploration of our personal journey with God.

My Calling to Ministry

My calling and vocation to ministry—and to a more committed Christian service—came about gradually, through a variety of ways. It began with an invitation from a former choir director to join her in visiting and praying for the elderly and shut-in from our parish. Further influence came from Christian friends at college, and a chance invitation to attend a worship service at another Christian friend’s church one Sunday.

I had personal devotion times during my university years, seeking God’s will for my life. Ultimately, there was a moment where I said yes to what I perceived as a very clear call from God for ministry. This calling and the invitation to deeper Christian service continue for me, and I suspect it is the same for each of us because we serve a God who always seeks us out—a God whose love will never let us go.

Preferring the Shadows

I have always preferred to remain in the shadows. By nature, I am happy to go unnoticed, allowing others to take the spotlight. Public demonstrations of faith were never my kind of thing, and maybe that’s the same for you. Thankfully, we serve a God who understands all of this.

Through responding positively to these invitations during my journey, God gave me an opportunity to emerge from the shadows—much like He did with Nicodemus in our reading today. This journey of faith has been an adventure with the living God, truly the journey of a lifetime.

The Journey of Commitment

Growing up in the church, I learned a lot through Sunday school, youth movements, and sermons, yet each moment of invitation felt different. Each called me to a more personal response and commitment to God. I believe God looks for this personal commitment from all His children and continually calls us to return to Him.

Our gospel reading tells us how Nicodemus came to Jesus by night—when it felt safer, away from the scrutinizing gaze of his fellow Pharisees. This journey was transformational for him, as it can be for us. They knew Jesus came from God, but the struggle was in taking that next step of faith.

Being Born from Above

Jesus made it clear to Nicodemus that seeing the kingdom of God requires being born from above—of water and spirit. This new birth is God’s doing—just like the wind, we do not control it, but we can receive and observe it. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, we begin to see its effects, just as we hear the wind blowing through leaves.

Answering God’s Call

Responding positively to God’s calls and invitations allows us to walk a path filled with divine grace. Saying yes to God’s call brought me to places I never imagined and into relationships with other believers that have enriched my spiritual journey. God’s plan for us is beyond our understanding, filled with grace and guidance.

Embrace the Divine Invitation

As I conclude, may we all have the grace to emerge from the shadows and say yes to each invitation that God issues to us. As God’s love calls us back even when we stray, let’s embrace this divine life and love. Remember, God sent His Son not to condemn the world, but to save it. This foundational truth calls us into a literal reality where we live, move, and have our being.

Final Thoughts

Friends, let’s celebrate the Trinity—not just as a doctrine to be explained but as a reality to experience. Jesus revealed this mystery to Nicodemus, an invitation that extends to us all. Let us respond to this gracious invitation to share in God’s life and love.

Thank you for journeying with me through these reflections. May God grant us the grace to continue saying yes each day.