Living Lent: Jobs

March 6, 2019

The dignity of work is a creative endeavor that we participate in with God. In the United States, a way to end hunger is ensuring that everyone who wants and is able to work can get a job that pays a living wage. People who have worked hard and contributed to society and the economy should not live in poverty. 

Prayer for Reflection

Lord God, 

At the beginning of our world, you created. You gave to this world water and land. Creatures and critters. Sand and pastures. 

     You call each of us to enter into a special time of renewal.   

We enter into desert, the barrenness of these 40 days answering your call for repentance. While we know that you are with us, we can sometimes feel far away from you and from one another. 

The prophet Joel reminds us, you call us to "rend our hearts and not our garments." Make our hearts new in you, O Lord.  Let kindness, mercy, compassion, and love flow from us.    

Be with us on this Lenten journey.  Be with us as we pray for ourselves and our neighbors, for our healing, for our awakening to be with you in all our endeavors.   

Be with each of us who struggles to find work.   

Be with each of us who faces heart-wrenching decisions about where and how to find food. 

Be with each of us who is looking to find work that pays a decent wage. 

Be with each of us who works for economic justice, knowing that it is also racial justice.   

Be with each of us who is employed and facing discrimination. 

Be with each of us who employs others. 

Be with each of us, O Lord.   

Make these 40 days a Living Lent in which we come to know you deeper. 

Amen. 

Questions for Reflection

What do you find satisfying about your work? 

What are some of the obstacles faced by those seeking a decent work in marginalized communities? 

Do you have an unemployed friend or relative you would like to lift up in prayer? 

What does it mean to “return to the Lord?”  How do you plan to do that this Lenten season? 

Scriptures for Reflection

March 6: Joel 2:12-18 and James 5:4 

March 7: Deuteronomy 30:15-20 and Matthew 7:7 

March 8: Isaiah 58:1–9a1 and Timothy 6:17-19 

March 9: Isaiah 58:9b–14 and Ezekiel 34:4-10 

March 10: Deuteronomy 26:1-11 and Deuteronomy 24:14-15 

March 11: Leviticus 19:1–2,11–18 and Matthew 6:31-32 

March 12: Isaiah 55:6–11 and John 16:33 

March 13: Jonah 3:1–10 and Philippians 4:19 

March 14: Matthew 7:7-12 and Proverbs 17:5 

March 15: Ezekiel 18:21-28 and Deuteronomy 15:7 

March 16, Deuteronomy 26:16-19 and Psalms 37:23-26 

March 17, Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18 and Psalms 12:5 

Additional resources about this theme

Chapter 1: You Can't Feed a Family on These Wages 

Chapter 2: Rebuilding Shared and Sustained Prosperity 

Chapter 3: Creating Opportunity in Communities of Concentrated Poverty 

Chapter 4: The Dignity of Work 

Chapter 5: Shared and Sustained Development in an Interdependent World 

Download the Christian Study Guide  

The biblically based study guide explores God's call to protect the vulnerable 

Statement by religious leaders 

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People who have worked hard and contributed to society and the economy should not live in poverty. 

Tools
from our Resource Library

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  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

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  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

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