The set readings for today recall the calling of Simon, James and John by Jesus. They were busy working as a fisherman, but with little success until Jesus turned up on the scene. They took advice from this man on the shoreline and as a result the nets were full to bulging. So much so that Peter fell on his knees in fear and trepidation. However, as is often the case, Jesus offered reassurance as well as the invitation to join him in a new piece of work that of fishing for men and women.
I've been reflecting on the concept of work today. Having arrived for my chaplaincy slot at the YMCA slightly earlier than usual this morning I was greeted by the outgoing chaplain. “Are you here all morning before our meeting at noon?" he enquired. "Yes" I replied "but will be working upstairs as they have wi-fi". "Well enjoy your ‘work’!" was his response - with the addition of finger gestures of speech marks to emphasise the word work.
So what precisely is work? I ask (and indeed type as it is these precise thoughts that I have started to work on utilising the free wi- fi!). Certainly in our society, the sought response to the the question “what do you do?” is sadly more highly regarded and valued than the answer to the question “how do you do?”, especially if the “what” can be further assessed in importance by the accompanying salary cheque.
However, in the book of Ecclesiastes, the key issue regarding how we use our time, concerns our “toil” and whether we (and indeed God) finds satisfaction in it. Whether it is paid or voluntary, strenuous or sedentary, active or passive; all our activity, if suitably dedicated to God, can be and is work for God.
So, as the week draws to a close, I hope to encourage you in your own particular work for God and for His Kingdom, praying that you will satisfaction in it, and know and take to heart the affirming words of our Lord: “well done, good and faithful servant”.