Monday, June 22, 2015

Who are you working for?

I was struck yesterday morning in church that, as a congregation, we have a lot of different jobs.  Some of us run small businesses, others are teachers or work with young people.  Some of us are full time mums or dads, others are elders.  Last week, the verse in Colossians 3:23 stuck in my mind:

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Recently, I've been finding work particularly hard because of the pressures involved. However, knowing that I'm in this job to primarily glorify God changes the way I view today.  It reminds me that my worth's not measured by my performance at work but by the fact that Jesus died for me; and because of that, that I'm his child.  I'm so thankful that, as the verse says, I'm serving Jesus and not my work.  I'm thankful that my work doesn't define me.  I'm thankful that Jesus' righteousness if sufficient for me.  If it weren't, I've have no chance.  I'd be serving one master or another - as a teacher, most like work - and burning out becomes a real danger.

Yet, Jesus says to 'work heartily' - how? - as working for him.  Matthew 11:28-30 says:

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I've found that bringing my work to him changes my attitude towards it.  It doesn't lessen the responsibilities or the pressures but it changes why I'm doing it.  It puts my work in perspective and reminds me that my loving, heavenly father's over it.

Out of all the above, a poem came to me in today in church.  Here it is:

I wonder how you see your work today.
Is it joy, or pain, maybe mindless drudgery?
But, know today God's placed you where you are
That, through your service, folk may be set free!

To you, running small businesses, take heart,
For, he has given you these to bring him fame,
to serve the folk your business caters for
and, through the way you run it, glorify his name.

To you who teach the youngest to the old,
giving hours of time I've given to get it right,
Take heart that I am your defining worth
and through your love shine to your kids my light.

To you who work with hands the things so many need,
though some think these tasks bring little fame,
work in all you do as serving me
for each care-laid brick, wooden beam and twice-checked wire
brings glory to my name.

To you who work with people each and every day,
Serving their needs & giving all you have,
keep your eyes fixed on him as you give of yourself
as Jesus did, just like his heavenly dad.

For, whatever your do, work with whole heart,
as for the Lord and not for men,
knowing his inheritance will be your reward
when he returns and all raise the amen!

So, church, you are not made to work,
but, through whatever gifts he's given you, bring him praise
for, work cannot define you, church, but this,
his cleansing love's redeemed your every day.

So, just as Jesus followed in his father's footsteps,
crafting beautiful objects out of wood,
God calls you, where you are within your jobs
to work with all your heart,
that Jesus' worth be understood.

Each of you he's chosen, each with gifts he's given you,
that you might serve in every way with what hr's given,
that, through your live for him and whole-hearted service,
you and all are around might see, hear and know Christ risen.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Love is...

Inspired by Tanya Marlow​'s blog post, 'Love is a midnight blue towel.'

Love is...

Love is a midnight blue towel
Daily folded back up on the rail.

Love is a much loved toy rabbit
With a freshly sewn on fluffy tail.

Love is a slow drying pile
Of dishes stacked up on the side.

Love is a fresh cup of coffee or tea
Which you didn't asked for, placed beside.

Love is an evening's dreaming
About days and years yet to come.

Love is helping face together
Truths that one might shy away from.

Love is bearing together
As the tears roll down both of your faces.

Love is sometimes being the both of you
When one of you can't trade places.

Love is in tired eye bags
As milk is poured out in a cup.

Love is a sandwich bag note,
Which makes your smile turn up.

Love is a fresh cut flower,
Simply picked as a personal surprise.

Love is their looking at you,
When it's you that fills their eyes.

Love is the smell of dinner,
As you walk back home late through the door.

Love is retracing your steps,
Through the memories you knew once before.

Love is in changing your footwork,
As life changes under your feet.

Love is in taking their hand,
When walking along in the street.

Love is a soft, yellow cushion,
Which has supported you for so long.

Love is a constant companion,
Whose strength daily helps keep you strong.

Love is the glass of prosecco,
By a bubble-filled bath when you're home.

Love is a meal together,
And the one on the side if the phone.

Love is a silent bear hug,
When words are not needed at all.

Love is a long day at work,
Broken by a surprise phone call.

Love is an ever-changing thing,
Every day it's a choice that we make.

Love is a way of being,
It's what you give,
Not expecting to take.

Original blog post:

Sunday, June 14, 2015

New poem: Who am I to you?

A poem that came out of worship this morning as we began to look at who God was and what redeeming authority really means for us.

Who am I to you?

When you look on my face
as you stand here today
I wonder, what do you see?
Do you see an old man,
tattered and worn?
Is that what you think of me?

Do you see a promise
written down long ago
one that guarantees untold wealth?
Is this promise before you?
Does it fill your thoughts,
or is it tucked away up on a shelf?

When you look on my scars,
where you sin pierced me,
Does a tear well and roll down your cheek?
If not, come on back,
know the cost that I paid
to bring you fully back here to me.

As you sing these songs
and soon hear my word,
what ground shall my truth fall upon?
For the softer the ground,
the firmer the rock
underneath with you stand upon.

Am I just a song
or simply a name?
If that's what I have become,
lift your eyes to my face,
see who I truly am,
take my hand, let me bring you home.

Who am I to you, child?
Take my hand and find out,
Come near, for deep down, I know
Your every thought
All you have done
and yet, I still love you so

I loved you most
when, on the cross,
I gave up my only son
to take your place,
to die for you,
my lost, but most beloved one.

Who am I to you, child?
The truth is, I'm here;
a loving father with outstretched arms.
Come close to me,
Learn who I am
and let my love be your pain's sweetest balm.