Now and then, we’ll take a break from our Sunday Scholar’s Compass rhythm to share other material that can be used in personal reflection and communal worship, and this week we continue a series of liturgies from a recent InterVarsity conference. Every summer, InterVarsity hosts the Midwest Faculty Conference as a time for faculty to rest, reflect, and meet with God and each other. This year’s theme was The Faculty Vocation: Exploring a Christian Anthropology of the Academic Life. Mike Gehrling, InterVarsity’s Director of International Graduate Student and Faculty Ministry, crafted liturgies for worship at the conference around the theme of vocation. He shares them with us here. Part 1 can be found here.
My Calling at Work – A Liturgy Based on Colossians 1:24-2:23
Song – It Is Well With My Soul (Horatio Spafford, Philip Bliss)
O Christ, teach us to rejoice in our sufferings.
Teach us what it means to fill up in our flesh
what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ.
Teach us what it means to suffer
for the sake of Your body, the church.
You, O God,
have willed to make known to us
the mystery hidden from ages and generations:
Christ in us: the hope of glory.
Work mightily in us,
that we may labor toward presenting everyone
and everything perfect in Christ Jesus.
Song – Before the Throne of God Above (Charitie Lees Bancroft and Vikki Cook)
A Prayer for Those Whom We Serve through our Work
God the Father and Christ the Son:
In you are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
By our labors, encourage the hearts of those we serve,
knit their hearts together in love,
and lead them to the riches and full assurance
of knowing the mystery of Christ in them, the hope of glory.
Protect them from the deception of persuasive words,
and instead lead them to steadfast faith in Christ.
(We name, aloud or in our hearts, our colleagues, students, and others.)
Song – Jesus Paid It All (Elvina M. Hall)
Prayer of Commitment
Christ Jesus our Lord,
as we have received you, we will walk in You.
Give us good roots, and build us up in You.
Establish us in the faith we have been taught,
and enable us to abound in it with thanksgiving.
Help us to see cheating philosophies, empty deceits,
and basic principles of the world for what they are.
Disarm the principalities and powers behind them,
and show us your triumph over them.
For the fullness of the Godhead dwells not in them, but in you.
We are complete not in them, but in you.
With you we have been buried in baptism.
With you we have died to sin and the flesh.
With you we have been raised alive.
We take off every sin and everything contrary to you,
and we nail it to your cross.
We receive You, O Christ,
and we will walk in You.
About the author:
Rev. Michael Gehrling is InterVarsity's Director of International Graduate Student and Faculty Ministry, leading GFM's ministry to international students and scholars across the country. He also serves as co-pastor of The Upper Room, a Presbyterian church plant in Pittsburgh, PA. Find him on social media @mikegehrling.