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Created to Work

This Sunday, I'll be wrapping up our Staycation series by talking about what it means to live an active life. Many times we think we have to live a monastic lifestyle with an hour of meditation every morning to be pleasing to God, but God has created us for a diverse life of contemplative practices in an active life of work, creativity and caring. I'll be sharing more about how our lives are not meant to be segmented into our work life and spiritual lives, but to be integrated as one. We are spiritual beings who work. How can we see that our lives with God continues beyond the threshold of the church and into our places of work. More this Sunday!

Encounter: For a week, read or listen to Paul's words in Colossians 3:1-17, on your way to work or before you begin your day. How does Genesis 1:26-27, 2:15 relate to your life?

Reflect: To work as those created in God's image, we are created for an active life. The active life includes work, creativity and care (Parker Palmer: The Active Life - A spirituality of Work, Creativity and Caring). I have heard it say, when we stop moving we begin to die. When you think about work, what do you feel? Does it feel like a burden or a way to bring life and care. Parker Palmer writes, "The joys of action are known to everyone who has done a job well, made something of beauty, given time and energy to a just cause. Take away the opportunity to work, to create, or to care--as our society does to too many people--and you have deprived someone of a chance to feel fully human. When do you feel fully human?

Spiritual Practice: Think about the way you carry out your work, both in your vocation, at home, for family, etc. where do you see the aspects of creativity and caring? What would it take for you to see your work as something of value beyond a pay check? At times the contemplative life is held up to be of more value than the active life. What will it take in your life to see that "one is to recognize that contemplation and action are not contradictions, but poles of a great paradox that can and must be held together. We must honor the pole of our own calling, even as we stay open to the other, lest we lose our identity, our integrity, our well-being." What is easier for you? Action or contemplation? Journal your thoughts.

Gather: Share with one another how you have experienced work, creativity and caring as part of an active life. Does our culture value work or work as survival? What do we see in Genesis, when God puts man and woman as stewards of the earth?

We've had a great time, creating videos for this series as we are out and about in our communities. Thank you for participating by sending in your photos and engaging with Renew each week. We've had such a great response, we will be publish Renew each week in a variety of ways including a written blog and through video. We hope this space brings some encouragement your way!

Working with you,

Pastor T

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