I love each part of the Anglican liturgy that we regularly remember and recite, but it’s these lines from the Postcommunion Prayer that convict me week in and week out:
And now, Father, send us out
to do the work you have given us to do,
to love and serve you
as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.
The first time I remember being stirred in my spirit about the work God had given me to do, I was in the thick of the weeds of mothering a toddler and a newborn. After enjoying success and the rewards of what I considered a “real” job for many years, I found myself smack in the middle of the work my heart had always desired, but for which I daily felt ill-equipped. Each week during church, I would say these words and pray mightily that God would meet me in my weakness and show me the way to best do the work He had given me to do. Even though at the time I was thinking about all the practical ways I needed help to be a better mom, I always knew in my heart that the latter part of that sentence from the prayer was where my real “marching orders” could be found—to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord. It was tempting to become distracted with what the world viewed as success.
Now, after receiving not one but two cancer diagnoses in the past two years, I have come to see that sometimes the vehicle for doing the work God has given me to do doesn’t look like anything I would willingly choose for myself. I’m still a wife, mother, and teacher, but I’m also someone who has cancer and so what kind of work does that require? As I’ve processed each of these roles with their responsibilities, I have found it more and more liberating and encouraging to know that even in their respective complexities, my part has always and only been to love and serve God, pointing the way for others to see the power of Jesus. I love that this is also Trinity’s vision: Love God, Love People, Share Life.
We all have work that we do: a job that provides income for the daily necessities that we require in life for ourselves and our families. We all also bear other roles that require even harder work: caring for ourselves or family members going through crises, tending to marriages that may be under extreme pressure, worrying about financial security or looking for better employment; the list could go on and on. I’m particularly thankful this week for my new position here at Trinity. I look forward to getting to know each member of our congregation better and serving each of you and the members of our larger community to the best of my ability. But as wonderful as that job is, it doesn’t represent my real work. As you pray the Postcommunion Prayer each week, I encourage you to search your heart about the true work that God has given each of us to do: it’s both simpler and harder than what we probably think of as our “real” job, but so much richer in its rewards.