From the desk of Kathryn Redman...
This past Sunday contained a larger than normal set of events that have created in me a deep reflection on the fleeting nature of our existence this side of eternity. The sudden and tragic passing of our friend Judi Wineroth came as such a shock to many of us on Sunday morning. Those who know the family are grieving, while also praying healing for Barry, Shane and April from the physical injuries. The emotional injuries sustained by the entire family will need the deep and abiding grace and peace that only our Jesus can offer. He offers that both directly by His Spirit, and indirectly through each of us who prays and serves and loves on them through this time. Needless to say, our hearts are wrenched and we grieve with them and will do so for a long time to come.
One of the hardest parts of loss is the reality that life goes on and we have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I remember when my dad passed away and I was in a daze, yet life kept happening all around me. Babies were born, couples got married, clients kept expecting that we would provide the work that we promised. It just doesn’t stop. At least not for very long.
As we press forward with this series on work, and connecting our work to God’s work, this week has brought sharp focus to the fact that there are only so many days that we have to accomplish the work that God is calling us to. Our lives here on planet earth are a vapor, a fleeting shadow according to James 4:14. Yet what we do matters. How we view and understand what we do matters.
In this series we are identifying worldviews, the grids through which we understand the various parts of our lives. In our case, we are focused specifically on the topic of work. Some questions under consideration are:
1. Do you believe that there is dignity in work itself? That work is something that God calls us to and blesses?
2. Do you believe that there is no “preferred vocation” for a Christian? That God’s call can lead one person to be a pastor, another to be in business, another to be a stay at home mom, and all are equal in His sight?
3. How are you defining “ministry”? If you work outside the church is ministry only happening when you are actively praying, sharing the gospel, or leading a bible study in the workplace, or is how you work and live as a Christ follower also ministry in the eyes of God?
If you don’t know how Michael and I would answer the above, I invite you to go and listen to the podcasts or watch the videocast on www.ncchico.org. One of my favorite quotes from last Sunday’s sermon was by Dorothy Sayers who was writing in World War II era Britain. She said this: “The church’s approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him to not be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours and to come to church on Sundays. What the church should be telling him is this: That the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables.”
It is our hope that as we continue to press on in this series you will be encouraged, challenged in your thinking, and refreshed in your commitment to finding out what the good works are God has called you to, and then doing them to the very best of your ability. We have a lot to talk about this coming Sunday, including the discovery of that work, and walking in what Michael and I call “Passion and Provision.” Until then……