I love the Old Testament story of Samuel and how God called him as a little child who had been brought to the Temple for service by his mother. While I am thankful for my teenage experience that I wrote about last week, my “internal” call came much earlier perhaps as early as 1954! I cannot remember a time in my life that I did not love being in the Church. My first experience was the Holy Ghost Russian Orthodox Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
When I was about eight years old I became an altar boy and began experiencing the service from behind the scenes. I remember carrying a little bowl and pitcher with a towel draped over my shoulder as I helped the priest wash his hands before celebrating the Eucharist. Several years later I became a cantor. The priest and the choirmaster taught me how to chant and use chanting in the reading of the Scriptures. I remember vividly how thrilled I was to be doing this without the slightest feeling of nervousness or uneasiness. I knew that this was where I belonged!
Many years later my mother told me that Father John told her that my life would be in the Church. Little did he know that it would be in the Presbyterian Church! I have had a good laugh about that, but I have never laughed about my call to ministry. It has been serious; it has been rich; it has been me more satisfaction than anything I have ever done. To God be the glory!