Grant me the strength to do what honors you,
And let me ever be
A testament to what your grace can do.
Let ev’ry word I speak be pure and true
So others hear and see
My what, why, when, and how point to a who.
Shape the affections of this heart made new
And make them more like he
Who gave his life to rescue and renew.
God, teach my mind to never misconstrue
What you require of me,
To count the cost and see the journey through.
And let me be found faithful to the two-
Fold sum of your decree,
That love might be my story’s overview.
Photo by Eskil Helgesen on Unsplash
A number of my friends from seminary work in local churches, meaning their coworkers and bosses are fellow believers. A number of other friends, however, work in coffee shops, department stores, or in other non-religious occupations. One such friend recently asked how Christians in such positions can best represent Christ to their coworkers, specifically when lifestyles and ethical frameworks conflict. Today, I want to offer a few thoughts on the subject.
Do flowers honor Father more than I?
For they do not rebel against his name,
Never abandon purpose to proclaim
Another glory. Ev’ry passerby
Is bidden by the bud to look beyond,
To glimpse the author of the grand design.
I point as well, but I demand a fine,
Some profit for the prophet. Still, the frond
Is ever faithful. Though its days are few,
Great kings cannot compare to its array,
A testimony from the soil and sod.
Look closely and detect the divine hue
And find the same at work within your clay.
All beauty bears the signature of God.
Photo by Milos Tonchevski on Unsplash
I read Paul’s promise that God causes all things to work together for good for his people, and I think of Joseph. He recognized God’s divine purposes at work throughout the evil actions of his brothers, and, in so doing, he became a living example of the truth Paul later proclaims (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28). No act, however evil, can thwart God’s sovereign purpose; he can use “all things” (Romans 8:28). When I consider this truth, I tend to associate the promise with the externals of life, which leaves me to wonder if the promise also rings true for the internals. I know God works through even the vilest of events which afflict us; does he work through our sorrow as well?
Lead on, lead on, O sacred flame.
Bring light into the darkness.
Let me live wholly for your name
In movement as in stillness
That you might use my feeble frame
To show the world your greatness.