The high school I attended required 4 years of Latin instruction. I appreciate the value of that discipline now, but back then it was a grind. Our teacher believed in drill and repetition. “Repetitio est mater studiorum,” she intoned over us several times a day, which simply means, “Repetition is the mother of learning.” “Repetitio est absurdum,” we muttered under our breath. “Repetition is absurd.”
I realize now that most of life is simply that: repetition—a round of dull, uninspiring, lackluster things we must do again and again. “Repetition is both as ordinary and necessary as bread,” said Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. But he went on to say, “It is the bread that satisfies with benediction.”
It’s a matter of taking up each duty, no matter how mundane, humble, or trivial, and asking God to bless it and put it to His intended purposes. In that way we take the drudgeries of life and turn them into holy work, filled with unseen, eternal consequence.
The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins said, “To lift up the hands in prayer gives God glory, but a man with a [pitchfork] in his hand, a woman with a slop pail, give Him glory, too. God is so great that all things give Him glory if you mean that they should.”
If whatever we do is done for Christ, we’ll be amazed at the joy and meaning we’ll find in even the most ordinary tasks.
Remind us today, Lord, that You are in the dull and ordinary tasks of life in a most extraordinary way. Let us not forget that we do even the smallest tasks for You.
A willing spirit changes the drudgery of duty into a labor of love.
Historians say that slaves composed about one-third of the population of Ephesus. In today’s reading Paul teaches believing slaves and masters how to live in a Christlike way within the established structures of society. These instructions called for reciprocal attitudes and applied to both slaves and masters (v. 9). Because of their new relationship with Christ, believers were accountable to Him as their Master, and He would judge fairly regardless of one’s social or economic status. Both slaves and masters were to treat each other with respect, sincerity, justice, and fairness (vv. 5-9). Sim Kay Tee