Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 92; 149, Ezekiel 3:4-17, Hebrews 5:7-14, Luke 9:37-50
In the cult-hit movie Office Space, Joanna works as a server in a restaurant named Chotchkie’s (think mid-90s T.G.I.Friday’s) where they are encouraged to adorn their uniforms with “fun” badges and buttons called “flair.” The minimum requirement is thirteen pieces, which Joanna wears. Comedic tension arises when the manager wants but can’t demand more than the minimum effort, and Joanna has no interest beyond meeting it.
Since the movie is a farce about corporate life, we’re meant to sympathize with Joanna; who hasn’t had a job that seemed unnecessarily stupid to us? On the other hand, in Colossians Paul advises: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Even when our job stinks, our attitude is a reflection of our heart. When we can’t find passion for our work, we can create it.
The same is true of our faith lives. Is following Christ something we approach with gusto, or are we skating by on the bare minimum? If Christianity was chosen for us by accident of birth or other default setting, it may feel like a job we never sought. We show up on Sundays (or just holidays), give enough to note it in our tax returns, and say grace when we think someone might notice. Or maybe we are very involved at church, but the work feels burdensome and monotonous.
Jesus asked his followers for passion: “What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops.” While he promises anyone who “gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple” will not lose their reward, doesn’t comforting a thirsty child feel like the minimum amount of Christian flair we can muster?
Since “by grace [we] have been saved through faith,” let’s lead lives that reflect eternal gratitude and amplify that good news for all to see and hear. When we deliver a meal to the hungry, the side of love and fellowship should be freely given.
Comfort: Work that seems menial can still matter.
Challenge: For one week, try to react to boredom by asking what needs to change inside, not outside.
Prayer: Gracious God, I will seek you in all my efforts. Amen.
Discussion: Have you ever found out something you thought was unimportant or even boring made a difference you didn’t expect?
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