Holding Work in Perspective

Holding Work in Perspective

Holding Work In Proper Perspective  Genesis 2:4-18 Elizabeth Mills published a hymn in 1837 that’s in the Old Broadman Hymnal that many  of you over fifty will know:  “We’ll Work Till Jesus Comes.”   However, the hymn is not really about work.  It really about a day when we can quit all this work and go to heaven.   O land of rest, for thee I sigh/
When will the moment come/
When I shall lay my armor by/
And dwell in peace at home? The refrain then says:   We’ll work till Jesus comes/
We’ll work till Jesus comes/
We’ll work till Jesus comes/
And we’ll be gathered home. http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Well_Work_till_Jesus_Comes/ With each new verse, there is another longing for heaven, a longing for rest.   There is a verse about the wilderness, which is this world where we live.  She can’t wait to reach her heavenly home, but until then… We’ll work till Jesus comes/
We’ll work till Jesus comes/
We’ll work till Jesus comes/
And we’ll be gathered home. Most of us seem to have a love/hate relationship with work. We bemoan Mondays because we have to go to work and we love Fridays because we get off of work.   Yet if we didn’t have a job, we’d be poor as dirt and depressed. It would be a major crisis for all of us.   I have known people that have worked and worked looking forward to the day that they didn’t have to work, only to discover that they were miserable once they were not working and they soon found themselves another job. I have known people that were addicted to work, and I have known people that worked hard to keep...
How Can You Hold Your Work in Proper Perspective?

How Can You Hold Your Work in Proper Perspective?

Most of us seem to have a love/hate relationship with work. We bemoan Mondays because we have to go to work, and we love Fridays because we get off of work. Yet, if we didn’t have a job, we’d be poor as dirt and depressed. It would be a major crisis for all of us. I have known people who have looked forward to the day they didn’t have to work only to discover they were miserable once they were not working and they soon found themselves another job. I have known people who were addicted to work, and I have known people who worked hard to keep from working. Work can be virtuous, but it can also lead to a life of dysfunction. What makes the difference? It’s important to keep work in proper perspective. One way to do that is by understanding what place God wants to play in our work. In Genesis 2:15, we discover work was ordained by God as a good thing. We can and should embrace work because God did and does. It’s safe to assume Adam and Eve sweated and were tired at the end of a day in the Garden of Eden and felt good about it. The garden was not going to just take care of itself. Part of the purpose God created humans for was to take care of creation. We were created to work, and work is part of what gave the first humans purpose and joy. If work was a part of Eden before the fall, we should expect work to be a meaningful part of our...
Whatever Happened to Authenticity?

Whatever Happened to Authenticity?

John 1:43-51 When our daughter-in-law graduated from Veterinarian College at the University of Tennessee, we rented a room from an Air B and B home in Knoxville. The home where we stayed was beautifully decorated inside and out. Our host, Steve, was British. Steve is an entrepreneur, having sold his milk distribution business in London recently for ten million dollars. As a side gig, he chauffeurs brides and grooms in his 1928 Bentley.  He’s done this for over 500 weddings. His Bentley is nice, but it is not in pristine condition, causing one man to quip that his car was a good twenty-footer. “What’s a twenty-footer?” asked Steve in his British accent. The man said, “It looks good from twenty feet away,” the man said condescendingly. “Well, so do you, mate,” Steve said, giving the man back some of his own medicine. Steve has never met a stranger, not in Britain or in the States and he’s a trusting soul. As he waited for his wife to return home, he cooked us supper and told us a story of the time he was restoring one of his old cars. When it came time to paint it, a man stopped by and asked if he needed his car painted. Steve thought the timing was perfect. They worked out a deal, and he paid him $500 as a down payment.  When the man picked up his car, he asked for more money. After several weeks, Steve called to inquire about his work, but all he got was excuses. In the end, Steve discovered that the man was a crook and he didn’t...
The Early Church Had a Big Front Porch

The Early Church Had a Big Front Porch

The Early Church Had a Big Front Porch Acts 2: 44-47 The last time I remember seeing my grandmother alive was on the front porch of her house.  She was in the porch swing, chatting with a friend, still recovering from heart surgery. I used to sit in that swing in the summertime during stormy weather.  I enjoyed listening to the rain fall on the tin roof. At night time, when storm clouds formed way off, I enjoyed watching the night sky light up and hear the distant rumble in the clouds. While the front porch could be a place of solitude, out in the country it was also a place where you visited with friends, just like my Granny was doing just before died on that sad, June day 40 years ago.  But she was doing something we all need to do more of, spending time with friends, talking about life. Her sister lived just down the road. She died this year at the age of 104.  After my Granny died, she became a second mother to my mom and an even more important member of our family. To the community, my Aunt Mimi’s porch was a place of comfort and refuge.  It was an inviting place.  Like her sister’s porch, her porch was a place where you could pull away from the business of the day, sit and talk, and share life for a little while. Before you left, it was not uncommon to leave with a slice of pound cake and if you hadn’t been in a while, perhaps a jar of jelly. I shared many conversations with her...
Whatever Happened to Kindness?

Whatever Happened to Kindness?

August 12, 2018 Luke 10:30-37 The scar remains over the bridge of my nose, but the memory of the kindness of the man who placed a handkerchief over my open gash and drove my mother, my infant sister, and me to the hospital remains. Although I was only three, I remember the small Post Office in Greenville, Alabama where my mother stopped to purchase some stamps. While she paid for her stamps and held my infant sister, I wandered a few feet away to hop on some marble steps that went to the second floor. When I fell, my face hit the stone steps and opened a gash across my face. Blood was everywhere. My mother asked for help. A stranger stepped forward, pulled out his handkerchief and applied pressure to the wound. He put us in his car and drove us to the hospital where I received my first stitches. While he didn’t offer to pay for our bill, he was kind like the Good Samaritan that Jesus spoke about in his parable. In that story, a stranger came by and helped a man that had fallen among thieves along the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. What he did for the Jewish man likely saved his life. He attended to his wounds. He made a sacrifice of time and money as he paid for the man’s stay in an Inn where he took him until he could recover. He said he would come back and pay more if it was needed, an additional act of kindness. To describe his actions, Jesus said the Samaritan had “mercy on him.”...