Subject: Redeemer Downtown Devotional: Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost - Sept. 30, 2012
Photo by Mai Hariu-Powell
Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost - Sept. 30, 2012
These devotionals are to help you prepare for each Sunday to come in the Christian Calendar.*
 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
Psalm 90 (ESV)
One of the most stark realities of urban life is a pronounced commitment to and concern for work, for vocation. Vocation comes from the Latin word vocatio, which means “calling.” Work life is not merely an activity or profession, but a calling toward a specific goal and purpose. As early as Genesis 1 and 2, we read of a shared human calling to cultivate and care for the created world so that it flourishes in every dimension of life: work, family, society, culture, private and public.
Psalm 90, a prayer of Moses, begins with an overview of God’s eternal and unchanging character (v. 1, “our dwelling place in all generations”), whose plans and purposes are unaltered by the vagaries of time. Against this backdrop, our human frailty, finite wisdom, and moral culpability are brought into stark relief, highlighting our need for God’s forbearance and compassion (vv. 12-13, “So teach us to number our days…Have pity on your servants!”). In light of God’s patient character and work in the world, Moses ends with a prayer about vocation: that our work be aligned with God’s (v. 16, “Let your work be shown to your servants…”) and that He show His favor on our occupations (v. 17, “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us.”)
Work matters because God works. Just as He is a creator, He calls us to create. He plants and waters, and He calls us to cultivate and garden. He is the One who makes all things new, and calls us to be agents of healing throughout the world through our work. Is this the prayer of our hearts, that God let His “work be shown to your servants” and that He “establish the work of our hands”? When Moses reflected on the unchangeable nature and purposes of God, he found a reason for his work. Is this so for us? “From everlasting to everlasting you are God...establish the work of our hands.”
John C. Lin, Downtown Lead Pastor
O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect** from The Book of Common Prayer
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