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Psalm 127:1-2

Monday, January 22

Serving for a Greater Purpose

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

The psalmist knows people act for many reasons. We build, we guard, we work -- all of us have our motivations for doing what we do. The psalmist also knows that those who labor for reasons other than serving the Lord, labor in vain. But when we build, guard, work -- when we dream, love, help, dance, cry -- when we do anything outside of God, the work serves no greater purpose than to serve us. 

Of all the chores I'm responsible for in my household, doing laundry is by far the worst (tied with cleaning the toilets). I hate everything about it. I hate lugging a cumbersome basket down three sets of stairs to the basement. I hate spraying the stains. I hate moving the wet laundry into the dryer, picking up stray socks that inevitably fall on the ground. I hate lugging the heavy basket back up three sets of stairs. I hate folding it. I hate putting it away. Just about the only thing I don't hate about laundry is wearing clean clothes, which is the only reason I do it.

Recently, we brought a foster kid into our home. And guess who's responsible for doing the kid's laundry? Yep, it's me. But something happens when I remind myself of why I am now doing extra loads of laundry. The chore becomes somehow less painful. Because it's part of a greater serving -- it's part of caring for a tiny human being that could not survive on its own. It's part of loving a person that God has placed in my care. So, while I still hate doing laundry, I love the tiny person whose laundry I'm doing. And somehow, it's not so bad.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Psalm 127:1-2

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
   those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
   the guard keeps watch in vain. 
It is in vain that you rise up early
   and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
   for he gives sleep to his beloved. 

Earlier Event: January 21
John 2:13-25, Jesus Cleanses the Temple
Later Event: January 23
Psalm 127:3-5