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Lectionary music

1 January 20

I have had some painful conversations with one son. It goes something like this. Son: “I don’t want to get a job because my heart is not in it”. Me: “No, you need to work. Sitting on your bum doing nothing is very bad for you”. Son: “But I don’t like the job”. Me: “If you want to build a life, you have to do something. Liking it is not the issue. Doing it well is. Most people do their job out of duty. They don’t like it”.

We were built to work, and work is a gift. The number of people who have been cast aside, or stood down because they thought their time for effort is over and they could retire and are now… lost, is tragic.

It is not the task[1]. it is doing it for God.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

Gillian in the song (written by the guitarist about his mother) says that “Idleness is good for nothing work’s how I get my fun”. For many, it is not fun. But it is needed, as we must be able to help and do good. For men, that means earning a crust [2]. We cannot support our family and those in need if we do not. For many women, their job is the home, and children: my observation is that by 0930 hours they have twenty things done. The hundred and one in the song is hyperbole.

For we will be held to account.

Matthew 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

May we all do the tasks put before us as an act of worship the the LORD. May none of us despise the workers who keep the bolts tight and the plumbing working. And may God bless us this year, so that we will be called at the end of time blessed by the Father.

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1. Assuming you are working in a fairly honest trade. Bankers, Spies and those who corrupt may find it is the work that is wearing them down.

2. I know couples who have reversed this: the husband is at home looking after the kids and the wife is working. But both have their tasks, and both contribute. Sitting on our bum is not good for women, either.