Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. We are living in an end time (end time began with the resurrection and ascension of Christ, and the whole world has been waiting for His second coming ever since, for the final judgment). But we don’t live with a lay back attitude as though nothing matters anymore since this world will end soon. On a contrary, we seize every opportunity to live life to the fullest on earth in according to His plan and purpose. When we do so, more lives will be transformed by His grace and mercy. We are called to become members of His global family, not only to enjoy His daily presence but to reveal His loving presence through our lives on earth.
We set out to risk our lives in a venture of faith. We committed ourselves to a life of holiness. At some point we realized the immensity of God and of the great invisibles that socket into our arms and legs, into bread and wine, into our brains and our tools, into mountains and rivers, giving them meaning, destiny, value, joy, beauty, salvation. We responded to a call to convey these realities in word and sacrament and to give leadership to a community of faith in such way that connected and coordinated what the men and women, children and youth in this community are doing in their work and play with what God is doing in mercy and grace. In the process we learned the difference between a profession or craft, and a job. A job is what we do to complete an assignment. Its primary requirement is that we give satisfaction to whom-ever makes the assignment and pays our wage. We learn what is expected and we do it. There is nothing wrong with doing jobs. To a lesser or greater extent we all have them; somebody has to wash the dishes and take out the garbage.
But professions and crafts are different. In these we have an obligation beyond pleasing somebody: we are pursuing or shaping the very nature of “reality,” convinced that when we carry out our commitments we actually benefit people at a far deeper level than if we simply did what they asked of us. In crafts we are dealing with the visible realities, in professions with invisible. The craft of woodworker, for instance, has an obligation to the wood itself, its grain and texture. A good woodworker knows his woods and treats them with respect. Far more is involved than pleasing customers; something like integrity of material is involved. With professions the integrity has to do with the invisibles: for physicians it is health (not merely making people feel good); with lawyers, justice (not helping people get their own way); with professors, learning (not cramming cranial cavities with information on tap for examinations). And with pastors it is God (not relieving anxiety or giving comfort, or running a religious establishment). Teach believers with your life; by word, by demeanor, by Love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching (I Timothy 4:12b-13).
Eugene Peterson is admonishing professional clergy like me. But I believe his journal applies to all of us who are called to make disciples of all nations. This is an attitude of faithfulness and commitment to God’s appointment for your life. You are not a “YES” person, trying to please everybody that pass through your life. You exist for a reason; therefore you should be driven by divine principles and purpose, instead of driven by opinions and trends of the world. Your life is more than a “job.” You don’t do the minimum to fulfill your expectation or assignment in life. You pursue the reality of life and what it implies. You live to definite and demonstrate the purpose of your existence. And as you faithfully do your parts like those who commit to a profession and craft, you will benefit people at a far deeper level than you could ever imagine. That’s how your life can impact other people’s life. Don’t underestimate the purpose of your existence, and keep living it in full for the glory of Creator God.
Love you because of our bonding in Christ,