Friday, December 7, 2012
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Luke 1:68-79, Malachi 3:13-18, and Philippians 1:18b-26
St. Paul wrote that he would rather go ahead and die so that he could be with Jesus, but that he knew the Philippians and others needed him so he continued to work. It is interesting that Jesus never said anything about retirement in the kingdom. Stopping work when we reach a certain age is a very recent phenomenon. We're never too old to follow God. Our rest comes as the body "sleeps in Christ" (death) and then again when we rise in Christ.
Paul continued to work right up to the end. Others did as well -- some even as they died managed to help others find Christ. The body may slow, but God still wants us to be faithful disciples. The body may age, but God still wants us to follow him.
Those of us who are retired from our jobs suddenly find ourselves with more time available for serving God. Those of us who are still working aren't quite so lucky.
Take a few minutes to pray about this. Are you being faithful to what God wants? Are you using your time for God's glory? Write your own prayer.