Wednesday: Daily Callings
With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Make the sign of the cross, and say,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
If you have an advent wreath, light three candles for hope, peace, and joy, and pray:
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. The light no darkness can overcome.
Jesus, thank you for coming to dwell with me. Brighten the dark places in my life. Show me where you are working and teach me to respond with joy. Amen.
Word: Luke 2:6-7
"While they were there in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to give birth to her baby. Her first son was born. She put cloth around Him and laid Him in a place where cattle are fed. There was no room for them in the place where people stay for the night."
Last winter, just before quarantine time, a friend of mine was dying. Ed was in his final hours when I went to his room at the nursing home. I sat by his bedside with his children and grandchildren. It was miserable. I wanted to hear my friend’s voice, but he was unresponsive. I wanted to see him smile, but he just laid there.
Ed’s wife Joan was on the other side of the room in her bed. It was evening and she was tucked in for the night. Joan had dementia so we thought she was unaware of what was going on, or sleeping. Such a great couple and now they seemed to be gone. We sat around Ed in silence. Then we heard something. “Rejoice!” someone said. “Rejoice! I say it again, rejoice. Praise the Lord!” Joan was shouting and singing from her bed. Over and over again she said, “Rejoice!” It was like she could see Jesus welcoming Ed into eternity. She saw something we couldn’t’ see. She was singing him home. In misery, she said “Joy.” In the face of death, “Rejoice!”
Joy is not based on what we feel at the moment. It’s not dependent on happy circumstances. The source of joy is the mighty work of God. And God does mighty work in miserable circumstances. That’s why it’s possible to have joy in misery. In fact, the more misery the more joy. The worse the situation, the greater the shout when God does his work. The more depressing the place, the louder the singing when God saves. After all, Good Friday was pure misery. But we’ve been singing Easter joy for 2,000 years since.
Prayer for Daily Callings
· For my occupation, workplace, coworkers.
· For my work to be good for others, an extension of God’s love and care.
· For the unemployed.
· For growth in my career; not to work for a paycheck but for you and others.
· For discernment, if I should pursue another job or direction in life.
· For my callings at home as spouse, son/daughter, brother/sister.
· For schools, teachers, classmates.
· For eyes to see God’s work around me this day. For the courage to participate in it.
· Not to be comfortable in my callings, but to be useful.
O God of manger and cross, grant us daily the joy of the empty tomb. Shine through the foggy mist and give us the Light of Life. Strengthen our voices to sing and shout in the face of misery. To you alone be all glory. Amen.