By Sherry Black
A Reading from 1 Peter 4:7-11
7 The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 11 Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
“Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ.”
When I read that sentence, I was reminded of Brother Lawrence, of the book The Practice of the Presence of God fame. Brother Lawrence was a 17th century Carmelite monk, a layman who dedicated his life to God. He worked most of his life in the monastery kitchen, but his spiritual wisdom is timeless. He believed that even the most common business of life was a medium for God’s love, and that having the right motivation is the key to working and living a sanctified life. He wrote:
[N]or is it needful that we should have great things to do…. We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.
Our love of God is our motivation, whether we speak or serve, work or weep. The keystone of all we do is to do it for the love of God; the foundation of all we are is the love of God. “Whatever you do, put your whole heart and soul into it, as into work done for God, and not merely for men” (Col. 3:23).
The Very Rev. Sherry Black is a second-career Episcopal priest, and has been a full-time hospital chaplain for ten years. She also serves a small mission church as priest-in-charge, and is dean of her deanery.
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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer
Today we pray for:
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Baton Rouge, La.
The Church of Ireland