For all the celebration and time off we have arrived here. 2020. Of the opportunities. Of the anxiety of it all! Whatever comes, let’s determine to run to Jesus and trust in him.
To kick off the year four bits worth reading as we shape what we will look like as the calendar unfolds.
First up, prayer. John Starke, a pastor in NYC, wrote a piece for The Washington Post on adding the daily routine of prayer for all of us looking for self-worth and satisfaction. His words are a good invitation to what we should take up.
Here is his conclusion: “There is much to learn about prayer, but it’s easy to get started. Begin by reading Psalms in the Bible and see how believers have prayed and what they’ve prayed for. Read a book on prayer. Find a community of faith and see how they pray and what they seek.”
“Christians often come to prayer not knowing what to say, whether because of suffering, weariness or feeling distant from God. That’s okay. God, who is our help, invites us just to be present. He tells us not to expect to be received for our many words but because we are loved.”
Read the whole thing here.
A problem many of us face in the moment we’re praying is that, if we were to pay close attention, we’d likely catch ourselves mentally processing our joys and frustrations, rather than remaining present in prayer and sharing these things with God, praising him for his faithfulness and asking him to reveal the ways in which we aren’t trusting him as we ought.
Give it a read here and let’s start using the “Dear God” more often!
Now we move into how we can work differently. Oriented toward redemptive things versus the normative increase of money or accolades.
Molly Worthen penned an essay in The New York Times early in December to process thoughts on justice and inequality finding fruitfulness in the faith and work movement afoot. It is worth looking in on and pondering how we live and work.
“Today, a different cast of evangelicals — who are more likely to be pastors, academics and small-scale entrepreneurs than titans of the business establishment — are leading the faith and work movement in new directions, because they take more seriously all the ways the Bible challenges the exploitations of our new Gilded Age. They have built a network of businesses, ministries, media organizations, conference programs, websites and more than a dozen research centers in every region of the country that focus on how Christians can turn the workplace into “a sign and foretaste of God’s coming kingdom…”
Check out Worthen’s thorough look at the faith and work movement here.
To close out the week then is a great example of this type of work. 1951 Coffee is a roaster and coffeehouse that employs refugees giving them work experience and skills as they learn life in the U.S..
“1951 Coffee Company, founded in 2015, is a non-profit specialty coffee organization that promotes the well-being of the refugee community in the United States by providing job training and employment to refugees, asylees, and special immigrant visa holders while educating the surrounding community about refugee life and issues.”
It seems to be a great model and rumor has it we will soon see one in San Diego. Check them out online.
Whether you are still struggling with resolutions or just living free, may 2020 be a grand experience of the grace of Christ. Onward!