Monday, January 3, 2011

rally cry

There is joyful work to be done now, people. Yes, it is work but it is all a labor of love, is it not? It is the vocation where sweat and passion meet. It is the work to which our very King and Savior commissions us--so we give ourselves to it headlong and strong, with all our heart.

This work is not something we have to do; it is something we are privileged to do. So, quickly harness the horses, hook up the plow and get farming.

It is time to proclaim release to the captives, to heal the sick and feed the hungry. The shut-up, starving time is over; let the poor join in the celebration this year.

Enough apathy! Stand up and shine. Smile with a shovel in your hand. Sing to the beat of a hammer. Whistle and stitch.

Place an arm around the weeping one. Adopt the orphan. Employ the jobless.

The darkest days have passed. We will make sure of that, because our Master has decreed it so and invested us with authority to make it so. Not to dominate; to serve. Not to subjugate, but to elevate.

As we work humbly, sacrificially, with a servant heart, people will wonder. So, when someone asks you to give a reason for the hope you have, be prepared to be counted, unashamed, never ashamed.

Be prepared to be counted as the homeless, the hungry and the diseased because you are the wounded. Do not presume to be better than those you are called to serve. This too is a very real part of the joy of our call: to work among our own in solidarity, to realize that everyone is your own, whether rich or poor; we all belong to the same human race, noble and tragic. That is the wonder of it. He calls his sheep to be his shepherds. He calls his patients to be his healers and the blind to be his light. That is what makes his work so joyful and scandalous at the same time. Just think: He has made a habit of conferring nobility on killers and liars!

In either case, remember: you needn’t have a lot of money, friends or book-learnin’ to plant a seedling. Even a four-year-old can do that.

So, enough apathy now; there is much to be done; stand up and shine.

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