Now it’s time to make good on that resolution.
I actually did hit the ground running this morning, doing something I call “ecumenical jogging” with my friend Wallace Adams-Riley, Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. We covered seven miles and a host of different topics, including the importance of preaching in the Baptist tradition (extremely) as compared to the Episcopal Church (not so much; it shares the service with the Eucharist). But at the end of the run I told him that I was ready to go back to work. All these holidays and holy days have been wonderful, but I can’t sit around on the couch forever.
I’ve got work to do.
I often talk about the “joyful work” of bringing heaven to earth, but I’m becoming more and more convinced of the connection between work and joy, especially work that is meaningful and purposeful. When I asked members of First Baptist to talk about the way they bring heaven to earth a few months ago I was struck by the common thread of joy that ran through each testimony. Shawnee Hanson would tell you that feeding hungry people is hard work, but joy radiates from her face as she says it. Warren and Julie Pierce would tell you that helping refugees get settled in Richmond is hard work, but they would also tell you that it has brought them as much joy as they have found in any other pursuit.
So, while I’ve been feasting on the joy that comes from being together with family and friends over the holidays, I’m ready for the joy that comes from doing the work of the Kingdom. How will I bring heaven to earth today? I don’t even know.
But I’m eager to find out.