Lent – Week 1 – Calling
What has God called you to do….in your ‘work time’?
Do you feel that God called you into the work you do? Or is your work something that you have to do and you try to be ‘godly’ in it?
Do you see your work and your faith connected in any way?
What does vocation mean to you?
Here’s two quotations to help you reflect on whether you work is or could be ‘godly work’:
All of God’s people who hear the call [of God] are commissioned by God to answer that call wherever it takes us. There are many places of injustice in our world that are waiting for the Good News of the gospel. It is not necessary to have anyone’s permission for any of us to address these needs.
[Source: Mary L Mild p187 in Women at the Well (Volume2), Linda-Marie Delloff and Bernadette Glover-Williams (eds) (Judson Press, 2003)]
Because people’s occupations often centre life’s meaning so powerfully, does that mean that they are bending the knee in de facto obeisance to secular gods, kingdoms and morals of a workaday world, saving Sundays for Christian activity? What does the church say to someone who is out in the world of commerce and industry, someone whose Christian vocation seems challenged by service to idols of mammon. Typically, the church’s response is a palliative suggestion that one’s job can be a springboard for kindness towards others, a platform for keeping the Ten Commandments, an opportunity to make a witness, a location for a ministry of presence, or a context from which arrow prayers may be shot. This message implies that, while so-called secular careers have some value as a service to others, they posses no inherent value in their own right. But what about the welder who believes welding per se is his Christian activity? What about the homemaker who believes she shares a personal delight with God in a good cheese soufflé. Would it be possible that God motivates the engineer who works on fuel cells or sustains a man who collects garbage? Could it be that the knack for finding good teaching methods is not just hard work but also the prompting and gift giving of the Holy Spirit? Could the promise of Christ be part of what motivates the designer who wants to improve sewage disposal? Are not all these equally cases of godly work?
[Source: ‘After Sunday: A Theology of Work’ by Armand Larive (Continuum, 2004)]