This podcast (Sunday 10-Sat 16) contains the Morning Prayer and a reflection on Vocation and C.S. Lewis.
This reflection contains part two of the reflection on Work and Faith, the daily examen and additional question, and the evening prayer.
3. HOW IS YOUR WORK?
WE WORK TO GIVE
Carry Jesus into your world.
Carrying Christ in us, into the world of our work, is like carrying a lion into Times Square – you never know what is going to happen.
Colossians 3:17 says “...And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, an insurance salesman, a famous record producer, a pastor, a student, a contractor, or an employee at Starbucks – you have been given a sphere of influence through your work life.
Work is what we do, often, because we must. We must eat. We must keep up our homes. We must care for the people we love with the resources we gain from working. We must work to live. It’s been that way for human beings, for a long, long time.
However, the meaning of that work for the Christian is quite different than the meaning of work for a person who doesn’t acknowledge Christ as Lord. From the beginning of creation, God’s people have had a call to beautify and enhance the world through our fruitful labor. We’re not looking simply to our own benefit as we do the tasks we have been given – we are looking to see others loved, served, encouraged, and provided for through the spending of our energies. We aren’t after money; we’re after the pleasure and joy of God.
While not all of us have a job situation that we love (we may even, at present, hate our job), the passage above calls us to see our work as an act of thankful worship – bringing glory and fame to Jesus as we express our attitudes, words, and work ethic in the world.
For a quiet heart and mind.
Spirit of God, each day you invite me to turn my energies to fruitful work – some that serves to provide for us, and some that serves to enrich our lives in other ways. Give me eyes to see my current work from Your perspective. Receive my work as an expression of my worship, and show Yourself to me within it. In Jesus’ name, I come. Amen.
Become aware of the Presence of God. Quiet your heart, and listen. In this moment, become present to Jesus.
Review your day with gratitude.
Seeing through a lens of thanks, appreciate God’s gifts in each event of the day.
Become aware of your emotions.
Review your positive and negative feelings. Did you choose Jesus’ way in each situation?
4. Joy & Sorrow
Choose one feature of the day, and pray.
Rejoice in a success, or ask forgiveness for sin. If necessary, plan to make amends.
Look toward tomorrow.
Move toward expectation. Ask God to shine light on tomorrow’s path. Resolve to grow.
Now add to your Daily Examen the following question:
Do I love the work I did today, or do I resent it? Why?
Going Deeper: Could there be meaning behind my work, be it in my home or other environment, that I am presently missing because of attitudes in my own heart?
To Conclude Your Days
Thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Once again, You have shown Yourself to be faithful and true to Your promises through the moments and hours of this day.
You have spoken, and I turn my heart to listen as I rest. You have acted, and I turn my heart to see what You accomplished today. You have loved me well in body and soul, and for this I am eternally grateful.
Let your Grace and Presence both surround and embrace those I love as they sleep. I bring each one to you now [pray here for family members, friends, and those in need of healing].
I sleep now, in Your loving care.
In Jesus’ living name, I come. Amen.
“Cast your cares on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”
This podcast (to be used between Sunday March 3-Saturday March 9) contains the morning prayer, and reflections on Brother Lawrence and taking joy in work.
To Start Your Days
Good morning, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Once again, You give me breath, and welcome me into a wild world in which You are living, active, speaking, and pursuing the hearts of humankind.
Let me be Your voice today to those in my family, to those with whom I work, and to those who I touch in any way.
Find in me a fitting sanctuary for Your Presence, and work through me to heal, renew, inspire, encourage, and impact those to whom You send me.
I choose faith over fear, believing in Your promises. Have Your way in me today; come Holy Spirit.
In Jesus’ living name, I come. Amen.
“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.”
YOUR ACTIVE LIFE
Brother Lawrence is perhaps the most famous historical voice we have today on the integration between work life and one’s prayer life. This simple monk, born into poverty in the 1600s, went on to become a community member in the Discalced Carmelite Order in Paris, France. Here, Lawrence labored in the kitchen, cooking for the community of which he was a part. In his mind, he was a servant of the servants of God, and this perspective placed a golden hue on every small task of kitchen work that was his duty.
Lawrence seems to have anticipated both our spiritual need and the stresses of our age when he speaks the following: “The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament (ed. note: communion)” (Foster and Smith, Devotional Classics, p. 369).
With the turn of a phrase, Brother Lawrence is inviting all who name Christ as Lord to learn what it means to concentrate all the fragments of our work day into one sacred, holy act of worship. He calls us to see our work as a privilege rather than a burden, turning our attention to serving and enhancing the lives of others through each diverse task to which we put our hands.
Bring your active life to Jesus – and allow Him to reshape your work life as a vivid, profound, and enriching act of both service and worship.