Monday, April 23, 2007

Your High Calling
It is my delight to emerge from my cyber-hibernation these past three months and reenter the blogosphere with a strong endorsement for
The High Calling of our Daily Work is a ministry of my good friend and former parishioner Howard Butt. For decades Howard has been a pioneering advocate for the awareness and celebration of God's presence in the workplace. He and his creative team contend that God moves powerfully in our respective vocational contexts if we will but train our eyes and ears to see such activity.
Stands to reason. Seems to me that the forty-hour work week constitutes a setting at least as plausible for divine epiphany than our one-hour-a-week sanctuaries.
I remember first encountering this simple spiritual idea in seminary when Glenn Hinson required us to read a book entitled The Practice of the Presence of God by a medieval monk named Brother Lawerence. Lawerence made the astonishing discovery that God was just as present to him among the pots and pans in the monastery kitchen while washing dishes, than kneeling in the majestic cathedral at prayer. Indeed, he washed those dishes gloria Dei.
Martin Luther King, Jr had a similar spiritual breakthrough when he gave his working class congregations the charge to go about their daily tasks with a sense of dignity and self-worth. If you find yourself sweeping streets, Dr. King admonished, then "sweep streets like Michaelangelo sculpted statues, sweep streets like Raphael painted pictures, sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, and some day all the hosts of heaven and earth will say about you, 'There goes a great street sweeper!'"
Even a cursory reading of the gospels leads one to conclude that Jesus found God more fully on the streets than in the sanctuary.
Please take the time now to browse around this crisp, newly updated website. Wouldn't it be a good thing for us to learn to look for God in the everydayness of where we live and move and make our being? If Jesus is any indication, our God-sightings Monday through Saturday will be at least as frequent as those on Sunday.