Speaking to the Soul – December 16

A short reading and prayer for today

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth.“Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.
Matthew 9:9 NLT

There are moments in all our lives which act like hinges. In themselves they are small but when we look back on life they are massive – they changed everything. I think of the moment in Israel when I met a 19-year-old student in a hotel foyer. She is now my wife. I also think of that incredible moment some years later when my wife told me that she was pregnant for the first time. I couldn’t stop smiling. I think of the moment as a teenager when I was first asked to preach a sermon. The moments came and they went, but the whole of life has looked different ever since.

This was clearly a hinge moment in Matthew’s life. One moment he was busily at work collecting taxes and the next he had left all of that behind him and was following Jesus. This encounter probably happened near Capernaum where we know that there was a customs post.

Tax collectors were particularly despised because they were working for the hated Romans and it was well known that they were often dishonest. The only reason why someone would do a job like that was because it was lucrative and no doubt Matthew lived very comfortably. However, Jesus’ word of invitation was enough to change everything. We are not clear exactly where Matthew ministered in later years. Some sources claim that he worked amongst the Jews in Judaea before travelling to other countries. We can’t be sure, but we can have no doubt that he often looked back to that moment when Jesus had called on him in the middle of a normal working day.

We cannot know when one of those hinge moments will happen, and so we need to head into this and every day with our ears tuned in to the voice of God. Today might seem completely ordinary and unremarkable but, at any time, the Lord might speak to us and lead us on a new journey of faith.


What have been the most significant hinge moments in your life?


Loving God, thank you that you love us so much that you are continually leading us by your Spirit. Help me to listen out for your voice today. Amen