Good morning to all be fellow laborers in God’s vineyard,
Ephesians 6:6 (MSG) – Larger reading: Ephesians 6:1-9
“Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God.”
The story was told by Plato that the spirits of the other world came back to find bodies and places to work. One took the body of a poet and did his work. Finally Ulysses came and said: “All the find bodies have been taken and all the grand work done. There is nothing for me.” “Yes,” said a voice, “the best has been left for you – the body of a common man, doing a common work for a common reward.”
It was heard often in the streets of Miami – “Not my job, man.” Too often we join that chorus leaving the tasks for others to do.
It was Youth Spaghetti Night at church and since I had a youth in the youth group I was helping to make the coleslaw. I was up to my elbows with coleslaw. The night custodian was off due to illness. The associate pastor and youth director were talking with each other in the corner of the kitchen when a lady walked into the kitchen to complain that the women’s restroom toilet was backed up. I turned to the two members of the staff who were just talking and asked them to see what they could do. They both looked at me and said, “Not my job, man!” … so, the senior pastor went, after washing the coleslaw off, and unplugged the toilet.
This got me thinking. How often do we walk past something that should be done because we think it isn’t our job? It might be something as simple as picking up a loose piece of paper in the parking lot at Walmart, but since it isn’t our job we leave the litter alone. Or, it could be something as unpleasant as unplugging a toilet.
I have always hated job descriptions. Too confining. Too specific. Too limiting. Why not write a Mission Statement asking the larger question, “Why does God have me here?” It changes ones perspective from “not my job man” to “everything is my God given job”. God has already written our Mission Statement for us. It is simple… Go… Do… In My name…
So when the Master shows up will he find us doing our job?
“I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.” ― Toni Morrison
Master of all life the common task is before us. Give us a heart to get done what needs to be done no matter how common or unpleasant. May you always find us doing our job.
And the faith journey continues, Pastor Jim
Giving God the Glory