This Sunday is our annual “Faith and Work” Sunday, a tradition we keep every Labor Day weekend. As summer vacations end and we return to our normal schedules of work and school, it’s a great time to reflect on how our everyday work connects with our faith in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, this is not a very self-evident truth. Historically, the church has spent a lot of time equipping the saints for the private, spiritual dimensions of their lives (prayer, spirituality, etc.) but not much time equipping them for the public, vocational aspects of their lives. This often results in a deep split, what some have called a “sacred/secular divide,” between Sunday and the rest of the week, between our spiritual lives and what we spend most of our time doing every day. It’s vital we recover a biblical understanding of work and how central it is to our discipleship.
This Sunday our preacher will be our covenant partner Rev. Gina Maio, who for a long time has bridged the divide personally between “sacred” and “secular” worlds. She is an ordained pastor and has a lot experience working in the world of the church. Yet she has also served for years as an educator, a school principal, and as a director of a non profit. Gina has wrestled with what it means to labor faithfully into the Lord in whatever field of work God calls us into.
In preparation for worship this Sunday, read the text and think about it through the lense of your every day work. What questions does the text provoke? What comfort or challenge does it bring to the way you think about your work?
Finally, this Sunday is also a communion Sunday, when we receive the gifts of the Lord’s grace at the table together. What a gift to be able to begin a new season of work meeting the risen Christ in his gifts of grace! Take some time in prayer to prepare to meet Christ at the table.
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-12
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.