Pastor Chris Seay returns to the series we've recently begun, engaging with scripture and the unique wisdom and insight of theologian C.S. Lewis. This week, Chris invited us to consider matters of vocation and calling, and how our lives at work can more fully reflect the light of Christ.
1 Peter 2:9-17
When lovers ask forgiveness, their repentance is a rare and haunting brokenness. Magdalenes sin openly and answer for their deeds at public executions. But marital transgressions are seldom blatant; they carry a quiet guilt before the stern but mute tribunals of the soul. Marriages rarely die in blazing flames of infidelity. They die from lack of care. I always promised myself. I would not take for granted that which I prized so dear. I never wronged you in great ways. My sins were little transgressions. But each because thin sinews in a growing web of pain. And each of them was committed always in the name of ministry to someone else in need. You served them by gently forgiving me for all the promises I made to you and broke. I sinned by accepting your ready forgiveness and later by expecting it. If I needed to be five minutes late for dinner, I knew you wouldn’t question it. If I were caught stealing time from you to give to the congregation, I knew you wouldn’t mind. I came home so often fatigued..
- Harper Miller
“Every disability conceals a vocation, if only we can find it, which will ‘turn the necessity to glorious gain.”
CS Lewis, The Letters of CS Lewis
I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity. The woman who makes a dog the centre of her life loses, in the end, not only her human usefulness and dignity but even the proper pleasure of dog-keeping. The man who makes alcohol his chief good loses not only his job but his palate and all power of enjoying the earlier (and only pleasurable) levels of intoxication. It is a glorious thing to feel for a moment or two that the whole meaning of the universe is summed up in one woman—glorious so long as other duties and pleasures keep tearing you away from her. But clear the decks and so arrange your life (it is sometimes feasible) that you will have nothing to do but contemplate her, and what happens? Of course this law has been discovered before, but it will stand re-discovery. It may be stated as follows: every preference of a small good to a great, or partial good to a total good, involves the loss of the small or partial good for which the sacrifice is made. . . . You can’t get second things by putting them first. You get second things only by putting first things first.
—C.S. Lewis, “First and Second Things,” in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (Eerdmans, 1994), p. 280.
To follow the vocation does not mean happiness, but once it has been heard, there is no happiness for those who do not follow.”
Chris recommended implementing a daily "liturgy"; rhythms of prayer, contemplation and centering to help begin your day. Will you commit to this rhythm, even for this week? Try it out, see how it goes. One option is the Examen from our friend Aaron Niequist. You can access a free download HERE.
When you hear a call to "step out" in your faith at work, how do you feel? Nervous? What opportunities might you have to push past ambivalence and joyfully share what God is doing in your life?
What are one or two things that you, individually and uniquely, can do to positively affect the environment and culture of your distinct workplace?
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My Sweet Lord