CALLED: A Reflection for Advent from Romans 1:1-7

Sometimes I get so caught up in all the things I need to do at work that I lose sight of why I’m doing them.I end up more intent on being productive than being purposeful — or more concerned about doing stuff for God than about being with Him.

The concept of calling is so prevalent in today’s passage, it has stopped me in my tracks. It helps me see that not only am I called — which suggests that Someone else is in charge — but moreover, I am called to be holy and to belong to Christ.

For achievement-oriented folks like me, being and belonging seem so passive. But that’s what Paul says we are called to — and it’s no coincidence that he declares this in the same breath as his explanation of who Jesus is.God calls us to our position as His beloved because of Jesus.

This causes me to adopt a totally different posture toward work. First, I want to be grateful. Instead of feeling burdened by my to-do list, I am reminded to be thankful that God has given me work to do and the ability to do it. Also, it challenges me to fear God — to respect Him as my Caller and to be in awe of the work He has already done for me through Jesus Christ. I am reminded that I don’t have to do anything — He has already done it all. And it inspires me to faithfully steward His calling — and to realize the primary way to do that is to rest in Him and my identity in Him.

The Christmas season is usually a time of fun and parties, but as this passage prompts me to reflect on who Jesus is, I consider it as an encouragement for work too. In “his earthly life,” Jesus spent far more time working as a carpenter than on the mission trail. So, I see that work in this world is valuable, if for no other reason than Jesus did it. I also see that the ultimate work He did on the cross gives me a new sense of freedom, joy, and purpose with which to do my work.

by Denise Lee Yohn, Founder/Director, Faith & Work Journey

Faith & Work Journey is about faith and work integration. We offer spiritual formation and professional development experiences that help Christian professionals cultivate a vital integration of their faith and work. We are a faith-based non-profit Christian ministry. We offer opportunities to learn how to integrate faith & work, what is the relationship between God & work, how to work as a Christian even if you don't work in a Christian workplace, what is the biblical view on employment, what are biblical principles for career success, how to make Christian career decisions, how to approach evangelism in the workplace in a way that honors God and respects your co-workers, and more. Inspired by Redeemer Church's Center for Faith and Work, Gotham Fellowship, Faith Driven Entrepreneur, Faith and Work Movement, and other organizations including faith-based employee resource groups, Faith & Work Journey is designed to equip and empower Christ-following businesspeople to steward faithfully their professional vocations.