Reflections: Wednesday, The Fourth Week of Epiphany

Today’s Reading: Luther’s Small Catechism – To Workers of All Kinds

Daily Lectionary: Zech. 11:4-17, 2 Timothy 4:1-18

Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ… (Ephesians 6:5)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In the season of Epiphany, we celebrate that the light of Christ shines forth into darkness. God uses our work, including our jobs, to let that light shine forth and bless others. Do you have a job? Then Ephesians 6 speaks to you. Paul tells us that when we are at work, we don’t just work to please our earthly boss, but we are working for Jesus Himself.

In Ephesians 6, Paul is speaking to people who were bondservants. They couldn’t quit or leave their jobs until they fulfilled the terms of the bond. Paul was comforting them with the promise that Jesus was with them. Even in their bonds, they were free in Christ because of the salvation won for them on the cross. When they did their work, Christ went with them. They could work for Him, not just for their master on earth.  If God could be with bondservants in their work even though they had no freedom, how much more can he be with you in your work when you are blessed with more rights today!

Serving God isn’t limited to churchwork. Every job contributes something good for your neighbor, and you can do it with a sincere desire to serve Jesus. He’s right there with you, sustaining you and blessing you. (There are some jobs that are sinful. They harm your neighbor and require breaking the 10 Commandments. A Christian should avoid these jobs. If a person who has a job like this converts and comes to Christ, they should figure out how to change jobs.)

When you work for Christ, you’re reminded that your daily bread comes from God, not just a paycheck—so you have more peace about how you’ll survive hard times. Working for Christ, and not just an earthly boss or company, also adds dignity to any job you have.  Even jobs that seem unimportant have meaning when you frame it with “How does my work serve my neighbor?” These blessings help you find joy in your work as you go through life, which is no small thing.

Students should be dedicated to their studies as if learning from Christ. What you learn can help you serve your neighbor, now and in the future.  Pray for wisdom to work well, for protection from danger, and for strength to grow in your abilities. If you want to learn more about this, read the Table of Duties in the Small Catechism. Luther has a lot to say on this topic in just a couple of pages. Jesus loves you. He is with you each day as your Savior and Shepherd—as you rest and as you work. Thanks be to God. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Heavenly Father, grant Your mercy and grace to Your people in their many and various callings. Give them patience, and strengthen them in their Christian vocation of witness to the world and of service to their neighbor in Christ’s name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

-Pastor Jeffrey Horn is Pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA,

Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.