6 October, Sunday – God-centredness

6 October 2019

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Habakkuk 1:2-3,2:2-4

How long, O Lord, am I to cry for help
while you will not listen;
to cry ‘Oppression!’ in your ear
and you will not save?
Why do you set injustice before me,
why do you look on where there is tyranny?
Outrage and violence, this is all I see,
all is contention, and discord flourishes.
Then the Lord answered and said,
‘Write the vision down,
inscribe it on tablets
to be easily read,
since this vision is for its own time only:
eager for its own fulfilment, it does not deceive;
if it comes slowly, wait,
for come it will, without fail.
See how he flags, he whose soul is not at rights,
but the upright man will live by his faithfulness.’

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2 Timothy 1:6-8,13-14

I am reminding you to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. God’s gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but with me, bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God.
Keep as your pattern the sound teaching you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. You have been trusted to look after something precious; guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

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Luke 17:5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.
‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”’

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“We are merely servants; we have done no more than our duty”

I was having a chat with some friends, talking about our work. One of them had shared how he had been working extremely late hours on an important project in order to meet a deadline.  When I stressed that it was important for him to get enough rest, he told me he would, after he did what he needed to do.

This conversation came on the back on another one I had with a different person. I had found out, to my chagrin and deep sadness, that a business associate turned friend had recently passed. My mind turned to my last coffee session with him a few months ago. He had shared with me how tired he was, and was working really hard. He was looking forward to doing the things he really enjoyed doing.

This got me thinking. I am the same. I will stay up all night in order to complete a piece of work. In my spiritual life, however, it’s usually a matter of making God wait. I think of something I need to do, and all of a sudden, I remember how many things I have to do, and I find myself putting it off. Very often, these never take off.

Yet, ironically, our lives on earth are short, and our tenure with our employers, shorter. It hit home that with God, I have been acting as the master, when we should remember our place as servants. While reflecting and writing this reflection, I had been asked to play guitar for two days for a parish retreat. Immediately, my mind went to how much I would have to give up during that weekend when the topic of reflection came to mind. Again, the servant thinks he’s the master.

The same goes for our prayers and petitions. Again, I find myself stretching my hand out, asking God for gifts and things, or for things to go my way. Translating this to the work environment, I cannot imagine an employee going into his Chief Executive’s office and demanding privileges and benefits; he’d probably get fired on the spot!

Our Father God loves us, and loves us to the ends of the earth. Let us not take this love for granted, and remember that we should live our lives with servant hearts.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)

Prayer: Father, we pray that we always maintain our servant hearts. Help us to always keep our eyes on You!

Thanksgiving: We thank You for loving us and giving us all that we need. Thank you Lord Jesus, for teaching us what is really important in our lives and not let the trivial things take over our attention.

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