Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Behold Thy Gracious Hand! Work...

Certainly, there are days when work is a four-letter word, but ideally, it’s an expression of our service to God and ministry in the marketplace (to borrow a thought from Father Thomas Keating.)

I return to The Book of Common Prayer and its Contemporary Collects for inspiration on the subject of work:

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ in his earthly life
 shared our toil and hallowed our labor: Be present with your
 people where they work; make those who carry on the industries
 and commerce of this land responsive to your will; and give 
to us all a pride in what we do...

Father, my career interest developed in childhood, and I've been blessed to pursue it for forty years. There have been twists and turns, for sure. I've survived ownership changes, family relocation, downsizings, recessions and several of my own very big mistakes. I've logged twenty-eight years with my current employer and a variety of challenging assignments. Behold thy gracious hand!

I have worked for leaders who were ahead of the curve, faithful to their employees, dedicated to their families and communities. They have been inspiring and worthy role models. Behold thy gracious hand!

Lord Christ, I've been blessed with work. I've been blessed by work. Holy Spirit, help me as I strive to bless others through my work: us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but
 for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for
 our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of
 other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out
 of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns 
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.