There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in their toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God; for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25.
We continue on this week with the"Contemporary Testimony: Our World Belongs to God."
Paragraphs 1-6: Preamble (April 11-29)
Paragraphs 7-12: Creation (April 30-May 8)
Paragraphs 13-17: Fall (May 11-15)
Paragraphs 18-22: Redemption (May 18-22)
Paragraphs 23-27: Jesus Christ
Paragraphs 28-30: Holy Spirit
[For the place of work, see Genesis 2:15, Exodus 20:9, Ephesians 6:5-9, and 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; for justice in the workplace, Ezekiel 34 and James 5:1-5; for generosity, 2 Corinthians 9 and 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12.]
I was fired for the first time when I was only 15. Many teens try their hand at the local burger joint, but it didn't work out so well for me. When I asked my employer what I did wrong, I was told, "That's the problem, you didn't do anything!" I was sure I would never work again.
After deciding on a different career path, I did work again, and even though I had a successful career in Information Technology, still I was relieved of a few more jobs along the way. One thing I learned: the only thing worse than working is not working! Not working, after the novelty wears off, is a very clear reminder that we are made to work. Not that work sometimes wasn't tough, soul-sucking, ego-killing. But it was still work and it was still, overall, worth doing. It often did not feel like a calling, but I learned to be extremely grateful for it.
Now, I'm in the best job I've ever had. I mean that. And I also see that God graciously does not allow the learnings of our past to be wasted.
But it's a tough year to be working. It does not matter what your vocation is, this virus has made our work more difficult. Worse yet, it has revealed many disparities in the work done by so many. We can pray and advocate for substantive changes to be made so that work is fairer for all. That was true when this Paragraph 48 was written, but it is much more true today.
Pray for and encourage our healthcare workers as they help us through this pandemic. Pray for those with difficult September restarts such as our teachers. Pray for and help parents who are still trying to juggle work and childcare. Pray and advocate for fairness for those who work in our care homes.
Pray with me as our Lord taught us to pray,
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Go with this blessing from 2 Thessalonians 2:
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.