Moment for Mission
"Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set the seal." — John 6:27
When we dream of our plans as small children, we are not thinking about the details. The future work of our hopes and dreams is not about getting the bills paid or making sure there is enough to eat. When we are young, we dream of doing what we love.
It is not until we grow older that our thinking shifts. We start to envision responsibilities; we worry about providing for our needs. Of course, it is wise to begin thinking and acting responsibly. Yet, in dreaming or acting wisely, we are all called to live out our faith in the world. While food, shelter and clothing are necessary for survival, so is dreaming with God about gifts, passion and vocation.
Today, on United Methodist Student Day, we have the opportunity to help those seeking a vocation to be prepared to work and live out a calling in the world, through our generous giving toward the United Methodist Student Loan Fund. The fund, administered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, underwrites scholarships that benefit United Methodist students.
Today is one of our six Special Sunday offerings where we turn our church-wide attention to equipping United Methodist students to put their faith into action as they gain knowledge and skills that prepare them for a life of living out their faith.
God, Open our ears to hear your voice as we seek to find the ways that we are called to serve you. Open our hearts to be generous in our support of one another on this journey to bring the kingdom near by working for the bread that is eternal. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: First Sunday of Advent (United Methodist Student Day) - Dear God, you are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are grateful that you freely bring salvation to those who are far away and those who are near. You call each of us to put on the armor of light, to live as faithful disciples of Christ wherever you send us. May our students become examples of piety and learning. Help us to nurture all students in our congregation, even as we, too, continue to grow in knowledge and faith. We dedicate our offerings in Jesus' name. Amen. (Romans 13:11-14)
"To pray is to work, to work is to pray" is a phrase that has been attributed to St. Benedict, who advocated for a simple and ordered life.
The work done on the monastery appeared to be mundane but took on a sacred meaning. While many of us live far from the simple life prescribed by the saint, there continues to be something sacred about the work. When we are intentional about seeking out our calling, lay and clergy alike, we find our vocation, our own holy work.
Some may find their holy work to be in the medical field, engineering or public service. Whatever is the nature of one's calling, it is important that the body of Christ support the holy work of one another. One way that we do that is by supporting specific ministries of the church. This week, we do that with United Methodist Student Day, an opportunity to give a special offering that goes toward scholarships for United Methodist students, helping to equip them with the education they need to continue developing the person that God created them to be.