Twelfth Sunday after Trinity 08 September 2019 A.D.

            Twelfth Sunday after Trinity MP    08 September 2019 A.D.

Ps 139            O.T. Lesson. Genesis 41:1a, 8, 14-40          N.T. Lesson. Col. 3:22-4:6

                                      Almighty and everlasting God, who art always more
                                      ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give
                                     more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon
                                     us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things
                                     whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good
                                    things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits
                                    and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord.        Amen

 
   There is so many concepts packed into our New Testament lesson this morning.  We are looking at servanthood, vocation, mission, and purpose. 
   1. Servanthood: what do I mean by this term?  If we look at the work ethic of most areas of employment, whether private or public, we see a severe lack of service to the job. How often do we find that something has been done half way or in a slipshod manner, no pride is taken in getting the job done well, on time, or correct?   Why does this seem to be happening?  If we remove God from the workplace, a supreme being who sees all, then the worker believes they can do anything they want.  We see this trend coming into modern Western society over the last 200 years. With the advent of the Darwinian or Marx/Engel concept of humanity, there is no heaven, there is no supreme being to judge or notice our daily labors, it is all about today. If you remove God from society then you will have an “anything goes” attitude about life.  ‘I don’t have to worry about my behavior, because there will be no consequences for such behavior.’  Gone is the idea that you work for the Glory of God, not for the master/employer. The idea of doing a good job because it reflects upon the Lord and as a believer, how you serve Him, seems to have taken a back seat.  Workers just want to be compensated, with level or quality of production is not a key to that compensation. 
   I saw this attitude in schools. The twenty-eight years of experience in public schools showed me a student body that was less interested in learning for the reward of learning but instead learned for the reward of a high mark. The average student didn’t seem to look at the skill of learning new concepts or techniques rather the question came up regularly.. “what is in it for me, or will I get a grade for this or how much is this worth?”   Very seldom was there any idea of ‘...do it heartily, as to the Lord...’ or how will this benefit me in the future.   
   Even in the secular-progressive school systems, the idea of learning for the sheer pleasure of obtaining a new skill or concept, instead there is the emphasis on how this will translate into earning power, college, or job advancement.    
   2.  Vocation: what do we mean by vocation?  Is it possible to seek a profession that will aid in the advancement of the Kingdom of God rather than the advancement of the individual who undertakes that profession?  Now understand there is no prohibition towards wealth in the Bible.
  The warning is against the abuse or misuse of that wealth or placing that wealth in the way of worshiping the Lord. That is not the issue here. What I mean is the idea of doing a job because it serves the Lord. Learning a skill or profession that will reflect ones belief in the Creator, rather than just help that individual earn a living.  I think we have lost the concept of vocation in Western civilization, and with it a loss of craftsmanship or pride in a job well done.
   3.  Mission: closely connected to vocation is the idea or concept of mission.  Some could argue that they are one in the same.  Not necessarily. Let us look at the concept of mission. Defining mission as ‘reaching your community for Christ’, we can see that pertains to where ever one lives.   You do not have to travel to far off countries to find a mission in life.  Everyday is a day on the mission field.  This is why it is important to do your job well and without complaint. If you look around, there are many folk who are complaining about their work, grousing about the boss, the job, the workplace..all the while happily cashing the pay check at the end of the pay period.  What is wrong with that?  The non-believer looks at a professed Christian who behaves this way and thinks, why bother with Christ?  They behave like everyone else, what is the point of this belief system if it is just like the world I live in?   Remember, non-believers are watching everything we do, we are constantly on display.  ‘...not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.’    A believer should be doing their job to please God.  So our mission is to do whatever we do heartily as to the Lord and not unto man.  This will, as a side effect, cause the non-believer to see that we are different from everyone else, we do reflect the Lord in all we do and say.
   4. Purpose: now what is our purpose? It is actually twofold.  We do our best for the Lord because we will be rewarded. God has promised us the inheritance of the Kingdom. We are given citizenship in the Kingdom when we accept the Lord Jesus as our savior. When we accept the gift that God sent us, His only Begotten Son, who died for our sins, died in our place, died to make us free from the bondage of Hell; it is then that we receive that inheritance.  The second part has already been stated. It is our mission to lead others to Christ through our daily behavior in the work-a-day world that all of us are involved in, even those of us who are no longer working for pay.  Ok, now what do I mean by that?  All of us, in all of our daily activity, reflect the Lord. We need to guard against anything that would reflect in a negative way upon the Lord.  Yes, we sin daily. That is why we should pray the Lord’s Prayer. It daily reminds us to ask for forgiveness as well as purpose, mission, vocation and even servanthood.   Think about it.  It all comes together in that simple prayer. 
OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, As it is in heaven. Give this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

   This week that is coming let us go and do likewise.

Let us pray:
O Lord, accept our intercessions for all mankind. Let the light of thy Gospel shine upon all nations; and may as many as have received it, live as becomes it. Be gracious unto thy Church; and grant that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may serve thee faithfully. Bless all in authority over us; and so rule their hearts and strengthen their hands, that they may punish wickedness and vice, and maintain thy true religion and virtue. Send down thy blessings, temporal and spiritual, upon all our relations, friends, and neighbors. Reward all who have done us good, and pardon all those who have done or wish us evil, and give them repentance and better minds. Be merciful to all who are in any trouble; and do thou, the God of pity, administer to them according to their several necessities; for his sake who went about doing good, thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
    Almighty and everlasting God, we implore thy grace and protection for the ensuing day. Keep us temperate in our meats and drinks, and diligent in our several callings. Grant us patience under any afflictions thou shalt see fit to lay on us, and minds always contented with our present condition. Give us grace to be just and upright in, all our dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all men, according to our abilities and opportunities. Direct us in all our ways, and prosper the works of our hands in the business of our several stations Defend us from all dangers and adversities; and be graciously pleased to take us, and all things belonging to us, under thy fatherly care and protection. These things, and whatever else thou shalt see necessary and convenient to us, we humbly beg, through the merits and mediation of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen
And now in this week to come Lord, bless us, guide us, protect us in the same, 
THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.