Monday, January 06, 2014

Epiphany in the workplace

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 2:1-12

TO CHEW ON: “…wise men from the east came to Jerusalem saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:1, 2

For years Brian Stewart was a foreign correspondent. Canadians will recognize him from the CBC where he worked on "The National" and hosted the foreign affairs show “CBC News: Our World.” He covered wars in El Salvador, Beirut, Sudan and was instrumental in breaking the news of the great famine in Ethiopia (1984-1985). It was in that hellish situation in Ethiopia that something began to dawn on him:

“I noticed that the first groups I ran into when I went to Ethiopia were these small Christian groups that were working on the ground. It was these people who had been warning the outside world all along that this was coming. They were there in the beginning, and they stayed long after all the celebrities and international media had left.

“This also caused a chain reaction. It began to connect, in my mind, all the other times I had been to remote places where you would not expect to find any human being doing anything to help anyone, yet the first person you run into is a Christian – a Christian activist or a Christian aid worker on what I began to see as the frontlines of humanity. The more I saw of the church doing good in the field, and in thankless areas without any notice of the media, this began to draw me into the church in a more spiritual way” (from “Faith on the Frontlines”).

Brian Stewart came to Jesus through his work. The wise men came to Jesus through their work too. They were astrologers, students of the stars. It was during their studies that the miraculous star that led them to Jesus came to their attention.

God can come to all of us through the activities and routines of work. He can come to you. He knows you completely, understands your very essence, is privy to precisely what will catch your attention and speak to your innermost being. I know. I am a lover of words and books. I spend a lot of time reading. More times than I can count, God has come to me through what I read.

Whether you are a store clerk or a nurse, a librarian or a cook, a banker, farmer or a stay-at-home mom, watch for God’s presence in your place of vocation and duty.

GRACE: Dear God, please come to me at my place of work this week. I too would worship You.

MORE: The Feast of the Epiphany.

Today the church celebrates that Jesus came to the Gentiles too, as represented by the Magi. The celebration is called the Feast of the Epiphany.

British poet Malcolm Guite has published a collection of sonnets on the feasts throughout the church year (Sounding the Seasons). Here are the first four lines of his sonnet for Epiphany:

"It might have been just someone else’s story,
Some chosen people get a special king.
We leave them to their own peculiar glory,
We don’t belong, it doesn’t mean a thing..." 
Read entire...
Listen to the poet read "Epiphany"... 


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