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How do you describe your job?

I am reading a book at the moment called 'Working the Angles': the shape of pastoral integrity', by Eugene Peterson. Now, he is not everyone's cup of tea, and some of the stuff he writes is pretty flowery and waffly!

But, he does have a habit of making me think about stuff. In terms of my job, I have settled on a fairly simple one (from Acts 20): the job of the under-shepherd is to feed the sheep and shoot the wolves. This is expanded a little in Ephesians 4 - to prepare the sheep for their lives as God's sheep, serving each other and building up the mob.

Peterson pushes this idea further, to encourage someone like me to think about the integrity of my work - in terms of prayer, handling the word, and spiritual direction.

It has been thought-provoking, and a gentle rebuke. In the area of especially spiritual direction, I have been reminded that my work involves people not programmes, personhood not productivity. I need to think harder about this, making more time to sit with people as we walk through this broken world together, pointing out the goodness of God and his mercy in Christ.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for the shepherd of our souls, Jesus, who is our Lord and Saviour. Direct my eyes, desires, hands and feet to follow him. Amen.
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Genesis 26
At the heart of the blessed life is a right encounter with God - look at verses 23-25...

The LORD's reassurance is his constancy - he is the same God!

The LORD's reassurance is that Isaac can have no fear because the LORD is with him. Here is the heart of the blessed life: we can dwell in the presence of God - which means our great problem of sin has been dealt with.

The LORD's reassurance is that this leads to the life approved ('blessed') by God.

In essence, then, the blessed life is the life of the human forgiven by the LORD, dwelling in his presence, with nothing to fear.

Prayer:

Father, grant me the right fear of you, the right understanding of life, and the reliance needed upon Christ as my Lord. Amen.
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