Thursday, February 7, 2019
Today, in Mercy, Jesus’s disciples set out on their first solo mission. Most of us can relate to their feelings that morning.
Remember your first real job? You had studied, trained, prepared. You had aced the interview. You bought a new blouse, shirt or pair of shoes. You were IN!
And you were scared. You might have done a dry run to make sure you wouldn’t be late your first day. You checked that your gas tank was topped off. You packed a lunch (or someone who loved you did), and wondered who would eat with you.
The disciples were probably scared too. Look at whose shoes they were following in! And Jesus sets out some tough dress code for their work life:
- take nothing but a walking stick
- no food, no sack, no money in their belts
- wear sandals but not a second tunic.
The behavior code was just as lean:
- take a buddy for support
- when you enter a house, stay there the whole time
- if they don’t welcome you or listen to you, don’t argue
- leave there and shake the dust off your feet
As we set out to work each day, do we think of our labor as “ministry”? Do we see that our work in some way benefits the life of the community? Do our interactions with our peers encourage their contributions to the common good?
We all need jobs to earn the means to live. But if that’s all our job is, we will never find happiness in it. Meaningful work must benefit more than ourselves and, in that, it can become a ministry.
If Jesus were sending us out to our workday this morning, he might give instructions like these:
- work responsibly, mutually and unselfishly
- earn all that you need to be happy, but avoid greed
- make sure your labors enhance life for others as well as yourself
- if your job chokes your soul, move on
What we do does not determine our worth. How we do it does. We may be sewing buttons on shirts. If we do that with attention and pride, our work will have meaning for us and for others.
Every meaningful job gives us the chance to make the world better for those we serve, and for those with whom we work – to add to the beauty of the world already begun in the blessing of God. Does our work offer us that life-giving opportunity? Do we respond to it wholeheartedly?
Song: Add to the Beauty ~ Sara Groves