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Posts tagged with: Advent

Vocational Gratitude: Consummation

The Christian narrative reminds us that God is the ultimate authority in the universe. As the first half of today’s text declares, “The Lord is King!” But what kind of power figure is this God?

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A mother and child lit by a string of Christmas lights

Christmas and Work: Women’s Work

I realize that using the phrase “women’s work” might get me in some trouble. There was a time when this expression was used for activities like cooking and cleaning, chores usually assigned to women in the traditional American family. If women worked “outside of the home,” typically they were nurses, teachers, secretaries, and such. But, in the last fifty years, many women have discovered that they are capable of doing much more, including jobs that once were reserved for men. The gap between “women’s work” and “men’s work,” if you will, has narrowed considerably. Women now excel in many roles that were once filled mainly if not exclusively by men.

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The word Joy in lights.

Christmas and Work: Celebrating God the Worker

In the Christmas narrative of Luke, Mary was visited by an angel who revealed that she would give birth to “the Son of the Most High” (1:32), even though she had not been sexually intimate with a man. Mary received this revelation by offering herself as “the Lord’s servant” (1:38). In yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, we reflected on how Mary’s response can inspire us. Today, we continue on in the story.

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The angel speaking to Mary.

Christmas and Work: Imitating Mary in our Attitude Toward Our Work

In yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, we considered how God interrupted Zechariah in the context of his work. Today, we encounter another interruption, though the text does not inform us of the context. In Luke 1:26-38, the angel Gabriel appeared to a young woman named Mary, informing her that she would give birth to a son and that he would be the messianic king of Israel (1:26-28).

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People sitting around a simple Christmas meal.

Christmas and Work: When God Interrupts Our Work

If you have been following Life for Leaders for a while, you know that we often highlight the biblically based truth that our daily work matters greatly to God. This perspective is revealed, first of all, in the opening chapters of Genesis. It is reaffirmed time and again throughout Scripture.

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Children dressed up in a Christmas play.

Christmas and Work: Work in the Christmas Story of Luke

Christmas and Work. I’d like to take several days to reflect on some connections between these two realities. I’m going to take my cue, not from the experiences I’ve noted above, but rather from the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke. My plan is to read slowly through this narrative, pausing to consider with you how what we’re reading relates to our work.

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A bible with a baby cloth and candle in a crown

Be it Unto Us

Lord, we are waiting.

We need a savior.

We pray for a king.

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A manger scene set in the word Love

Never an Inconvenience

The bible tells us Christ willingly moved into the neighborhood, leaving heaven for earth to be with us, in human form. Compelled by an inexplicable love for his creation, God somehow took on the form of a baby and came to be with us.

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Decorations of Fasnacht in Switzerland

We Are the Fools

If you have a sense of déjà vu when reading Psalm 53, it’s because this psalm is virtually identical to Psalm 14. Lining up these two psalms in parallel columns, you’ll find that they differ only in a few minor details. How curious! It’s as if those who collected the psalms must have believed that the message contained in this particular poem was so important that it was worth repeating twice, almost verbatim.

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Black and white photo of a man's face looking intensely, half covered in shadow

What Would You Ask Jesus To Do For You?

Much to everyone’s surprise, Jesus called for Bartimaeus to be brought before him. Excited, Bartimaeus “jumped to his feet and came to Jesus” (10:50). But then Jesus asked a curious question, “What do you want me to do for you?” (10:51). Wasn’t it obvious? Couldn’t Jesus have figured out pretty quickly that Bartimaeus was blind and wanted to see? Why did Jesus want Bartimaeus to state his desire so obviously?

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A rosary with an image of Jesus giving mercy

A Prayer for All Occasions

This simple cry for mercy has inspired countless prayers during the last two millennia. In particular, in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, one of the most common and influential prayers is: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” This so-called “Jesus Prayer,” which appears in a variety of forms, is spoken millions of times each day by believers throughout the world.

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A man sadly sitting by the waterfront

Do You Pray with Boldness?

Do you ever speak to Jesus as Bartimaeus did? Are there times in your life when you cry out with boldness to the Lord, even desperation?

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A nail on a wooden cross.

The Shocking, Serving Son of Man

The one who seeks to be a great leader must become great in serving others.

Jesus offered an unexpected and potentially perplexing rationale for his vision of servant leadership.

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Da Vinci’s Last Supper

Vocational Gratitude: Redemption

As we celebrate this Advent Season, reminded again of Jesus’ coming into the world, I want to reflect on the distinctive vision and driving force behind God’s incarnation in Jesus Christ. What was the mindset that Jesus brought to his work in the world? And, what might that say to us about our work as leaders?

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Olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane. Photo used by permission from Mark D. Roberts.

How to Flourish in Your Life and Leadership

Psalm 52 begins with criticism of a “mighty hero,” whom the heading of the Psalm identifies as “Doeg the Edomite” (see 1 Sam. 21-22). This warrior uses his tongue to boast of his crimes and to lie in order to destroy others. But, in time, God will “uproot” him from the land of the living.

In contrast to this uprooted tree, the psalmist is “like an olive tree, flourishing in the house of God” (52:8).

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