Sunday 30th January 2022
4th Sunday after Epiphnay

Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71:1-6; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 4:21-30

Vocation lies at the very heart of this week's Scripture readings, as the story is told of the prophet Jeremiah being destined from his earliest days to fulfil a particular role and calling. Some might interpret this as somehow placing the calling of a prophet above other roles and vocations within society, but to do so is to go against the grain of the Old Testament's teaching. Exodus 31 speaks of two craftsmen, Bezalel and Oholiab, in similar terms; appointed by God and anointed for their task by His Spirit. This offers a number of connections with the world of work:

How does our experience of work today enable or inhibit a sense of vocation? To what degree do we approach our daily work with a sense of being called by God to fulfil it?

Jeremiah was called and prepared in his youth; similarly, the Psalmist speaks of God being his confidence from a young age. Reflecting this, a congregation might recognise the significance of those who train, guide and mentor young people through education, youth work, community programmes etc. Opportunity might be given to pray for and affirm such people.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus uses examples from Old Testament history to recognise how God works through and uses people who might often be perceived as outsiders. Applying this to the world of work, congregants might consider how God could be at work within their workplace and the colleagues with whom they interact on a daily basis. Might work itself have become an "outsider" - in that we can become so focussed on the internal life of our church, we overlook the contributions that Christians make to society through their daily work?