How We Work
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
– Ephesians 2:8-10
As we send our children back to school and look forward to the Labor Day weekend, I am thinking about the work of our hands and the work of our lives. Over the past two weeks I have participated in a powerful and transformative experience through the Spiritual Leadership Development Intensive. It was 4 intense days of online training with a group of 6 participants and 4 coaches/teachers. Seven of the people in this group are currently serving or retired pastors. One is a former Catholic Priest. One is a community development specialist who works primarily with leaders in Myanmar. The final leader is a pulmonologist. His focus was on breathing for health, meditation, and relaxing your mind through deeper oxygenated blood flow.
We talked a lot about the difference between work and jobs, calling and being unleashed to thrive in the work to which we have been called. God calls each one of us to love and serve the world. God gifts us with talents and abilities to do the work to which we have been called. God doesn’t just give us jobs to do. God gives us the work of living, sharing and loving people in the name of Jesus Christ. Not so that we can boast or earn our place in heaven… but so that we can live into the full calling of our created being. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” -Eph. 2:10
As we take a rest from work on this Labor Day (the church office will be closed), may we ponder and live into the work of loving our neighbor as ourselves… The work of living as a fully functioning member of the Body of Christ… The work that God prepared in advance for us to do, because WE are God’s handiwork.
Bless the work of our hands, O God.
Bless the hands that work the land; hands that move earth, plant seeds and harvest, hands with calluses and dirty fingernails, strong hands.
Bless the hands that use machines; hands that drive cars, trucks and forklifts, hands on computer keyboards, capable hands.
Bless the hands that make things; hands that manufacture and create, working wood and metal and plastic, practical hands.
Bless the hands that clean; hands that wash, mop and scrub, hands that know what to do with soap, determined hands.
Bless the hands that make music and art; hands that play instruments and hold paint brushes, hands that are creative tools, artistic hands.
Bless the hands that care for people; hands that cook and feed, heal and nurture, hands with a gentle touch, loving hands.
Bless the hands that are generous; hands that give away money and food, hands that are always trying to be empty, Christ-like hands.
Bless the tiny, baby hands. Bless the strong adult hands. Bless the hands that are folded in prayer. Bless the hands that are lifted in praise.
Our hands do the work of your hands, O God our Creator. Amen.