And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17)

How Will You Respond to the Call of a Gathering God?

My schedule is undergoing a radical transformation as I learn the choreography of a different life. For twenty-one years, I have read stacks of books, supervised science experiments in my kitchen, and attempted to explain why math rules hardly ever change while spelling rules hardly ever stay the same. Homeschooling extended my stay-at-home mum role through four overlapping childhoods, with the movements and routines set to the music of a busy life which held us all together.

One by one, my sons have spun off into good lives of their own, so while my center is unchanged, my circumference seems to have wildly expanded. In these days of change, when I open my Bible and find words about a held-together life, I stop and read again:

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. “

Colossians 1:17

Of course, I realize that the Creator of all things is also the Sustainer. He is the force that prevents atoms from flying apart and our solar system from spinning into chaos. What I take for granted in my physical surroundings, I am learning to embrace and to rely upon for this season of altered schedules and shifting priorities.

Reading on, I find that Jesus is not only holding together the universe and my heart. He’s in the business of reconciliation, drawing together “all things, whether on earth or in heaven” and making the way clear for all of us evil-doers to be reconciled to God. He flings his arms wide in welcome to the alienated, to the hostile, and even to the opinionated former-homeschooling-mums.

In a season of masks and social distancing, a Gathering God invites me to make of every random encounter an opportunity to draw others toward the Center, toward Christ, the focal point of the universe.

How will you respond to the call of our Gathering God? Spend a moment with me right now, looking in earnest around our lives for opportunities to cooperate with him:

With room in my week for a part-time job, I’m subbing in the public schools where an overt gospel witness may be uncalled for, but modeling compassion and striving for excellence are highly desirable– and all God’s idea, not mine.

While I’m learning to scale back on food prep, I will ladle leftover chili into freezer boxes for sharing later. I’ll make use of the empty seats at my table, filling them with people who need an evening of being seen and heard.

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17)

Staying close to Truth draws both heart and mind toward Christ, the Center, and best of all, it’s a reminder that we have everything we need to live in cooperation with our Gathering God: the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

May we live in this fullness all our days,

Michele Morin

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50 thoughts on “How Will You Respond to the Call of a Gathering God?”

  1. You are transitioning with grace and purpose, Michele. In this unusual season, that is a rare ability.

    And this –> ‘modeling compassion and striving for excellence.’

    Yes, more than ever a hurting world is waiting.

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    1. There’s a way to put the glory of God on display in every context if we are willing to look for it and then follow Him into the risk.
      Linda, it’s so good to hear from you. I hope your little hiatus is a huge time of blessing.

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  2. Michele, it is amazing how God guides us through every transition in life, teaching us more about Himself. Blessings to you!

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  3. Your circle of influence is widening! Those children will be so blessed to have you, a compassionate, even-tempered, enthusiastic teacher, for a substitute. I taught for 22 years in a secular private school and happened into a habit that brought attention to God. Whenever I sneezed and one of the children would say “God bless you” or even just “‘bless you,” I would raise my hand toward heaven and said, “He always does!” 🙂 I pray God’s blessing upon you, Michele, as you shine like a star in each classroom, serving Him.

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  4. Michele,
    I enjoyed reading this post!! I loved your quote ” so while my center is unchanged, my circumference seems to have wildly expanded.” Wonderful saying!!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! And yes, i do love the colors of the trees against a dark sky!! I think they show up much better!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

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  5. I love that verse and the truth that He holds all things together. I’ve noticed in grocery stores and early voting lines and such, one side effect of this pandemic is that people don’t just stay 6 feet away on their masks, but they don’t interact much at all. I’m trying to remember to say hello, to smile (hopefully they can tell from the eye crinkles above the mask), to share some cheer and light. My natural tendency is to keep to myself, even without COVID, so it’s taking some conscious effort. And even though we’re not gathering physically much (COVID numbers here are rising dramatically), our church is doing a good job of emailing or texting to check in with each other.

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  6. Michele, this is a beautiful post. The ways you are answering God’s gathering call are beautiful. I love how you are reaching out beyond your home to sub and to invite others into those now-empty seats. I’m confident God is using you in many ways!

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    1. Thanks, Jeanne. You’re coming right along behind me in this business of raising those boy-men. It’s a challenging job, and I believe you are in the most demanding season of it. Praying for you, right now, that you will sense God’s peace and confidence in whatever you’re dealing with as a mum.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the specific examples you shared of compassion in the classroom and filling your empty seats with those who need to feel seen and heard. These seemingly little things are important in showing God’s love. Thank you for this message. I’m visiting today from the Recharge Wednesday link up. Have a great day Michele!

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  8. I am excited to follow you on your journey through your newly empty nest, Michele. The verse from Colossians is a good place to start. I went through the same changes about 10 years ago. They were rough at first, but God eventually opened new possibilities that I hadn’t even dreamed of. I hope for the same for you!

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  9. I so appreciate this glimpse into your transitioning life, Michele. And what a perfectly relevant and timely verse—for this current season of yours, and mine, and our country’s.

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  10. Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. “ is a great scripture! This year has been such a challenge. Thanks for reminding me that I am to put God before all things and that He holds all things together. Great post. Thanks for linking up with us at the #FaithAndWorshipChristianWeekendf 6

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  11. “and He is before all things” Thank God, He is already there! Loved this post to embrace a new season, to see God’s hand at work, and to see the possibilities in Him. A big Amen!

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  12. Well said! Thank you for the reminder to stay close to the truth and to look for opportunities to live in cooperation with God. Thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. As a public school teacher, I truly appreciate that you are out subbing and providing an excellent example of what it means to be a good person. So many of my young students don’t have that kind of example in life. Thank you for linking up and I hope you have a great week.

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    1. I’m off to sub in a fourth grade class this afternoon, and then for the next week, as there’s been a COVID exposure in one of the local schools and teachers have been quarantined. These are strange times, certainly, but I’m glad I can help. Thanks for all YOU are doing. Teachers are my heroes.

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  14. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
    ********************************************************

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s truly amazing to watch what God accomplishes if we are just willing! Another fabulous post showing His love 🙂

    It’s great to see your link at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week !!

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  16. My life has changed dramatically during covid, I’m using the time to rest, catch up with friends and family and just relax. Thanks for linking with #pocolo hope to see you back later this week

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