September 13

“Moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.”  Ecclesiastes 3:13

“Give us this day our daily bread.”  Matthew 6:11

Taking pleasure in toil might seem an oxymoron to some.  It depends on how you feel about what you do … enjoying your line of work, pride in a job well done, the rewards of labor – home, car, some left over for a bit of pleasure, certainly having enough to eat.  I grew up on a small dairy farm.  All were expected to do farm work, girls inside work as well, to manage a large family.  I suppose to many it would seem toil, but I look back fondly on our lifestyle.  Our farm and our work fed us well; home-grown, home-made for the next year.  I see the same love of labor in happy gardeners!

We open the refrigerator and ask, “What’s there to eat?”  We look at the leftovers and whine, “Not this again!”  Some do not have daily bread … not just far away refugee camps, under bridges, inner city, but in our own communities and neighborhood schools.  Some farmers hack away at dry brittle ground, seeing nothing grow, while others watch the water rise and spread.  “The eyes of all wait upon thee…” we say – feeding people is God’s work.  What would you do to have enough to eat, to feed your family?  How much do we need for ourselves before we can think about giving something to others?  The world has too many “Old Mother Hubbards”.  We recently celebrated God’s Work – Our Hands Sunday, accepting God’s work as our responsibility, our grateful response. 

“In the just reward of labour, God’s will is done.  In the help we give our neighbour, God’s will is done.

 In our world-wide task of caring, for the hungry and despairing, in the harvests we are sharing,

God’s will is done.”  Amen                                                                           (Prayer text:  Fred Pratt Green)

 

Verla Olson