What is Our Work to Do?

As many of us do, I find myself going back often to books and writers I admire. At no time is this more true than when I’m pondering topics upon which I respect their opinions, thoughts, or feelings. I find, often, the questions they ask provide me with the mindset and mindframe to explore my own interior landscape. Rev. Samuel Wells, who served as the President of Duke Divinity School, is one teacher I return to often. His old sermons consistently carry great insight and vitality.

One line I read recently, in one such sermon, struck me as worthy for all of us to consider.  Wells asked “What would remain undone if we failed to do it?”  As someone who cherishes rich questions, this one lands powerfully.

So much of life we spend time directed towards what we love.  What we desire.  The places where we find ourselves alive and engaged. 

Such questions are good but fall considerably short of the whole story.  So much of life we spend time, effort, and actions with a focus on what we love.  What we desire.  The places where we find ourselves alive and engaged.

To reframe the story -there is the feeling of love.  And then there are the sacrificial elements of being loving.  One an emotion.  The other a duty. 

As a church, there is much that would remain undone if we did not do it.  There would not be our particular NCL efforts geared towards a hybrid future within the Christian New Church denomination.  There would not be content – live and archived – shared in many places.  There would not be small group communities – again often in hybrid in nature – where many have found friendship and support.  And there would not be service in the exact same way – those places and people you have reached out to over our 14 years of existence. 

It is valuable to hold the above as things we love doing – content, community, and service – but also a call to take it to the next level – that these are things we are duty bound to do. 

Love without duty feels temporarily good. Love with a strong sense of duty slowly shifts worlds. 

Love with duty is our work to do.

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