Prolegomena: recently read in a quote from Protestant theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968)
"There can be no completed work. All human achievements are mere prolegomena."
Definition: beforehand, an introduction; a preliminary
discussion or introduction to a lengthy text
Hmmmm...... All human work is just a preliminary discussion to the actual work of God: the lengthy text of God's on-going creation. It doesn't mean our work is unnecessary. Our work is important in that it participates in the work of God. God uses us as agents of grace and justice in the world. We need to remember that and not think too grand of our own contribution. As my Lutheran denomination puts it, "God's work. Our hands."
As I think about that quote in the context of life, it reflects another way of thinking I am trying to adopt: The Little Way by St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Every work of our hands and heart is important. We like to emphasize the big accomplishments. We tend to think they are the noteworthy parts of our lives. But as St. Thérèse reminds us it is in the small moments that we connect with the sacred in our lives. It is in those moments that we play our part in the introduction of the long text of God's work.
And what does that mean for me? It means I need to reframe how I think about my life and the work I do.
Not just my paid work at church but also the many quiet but important sacred moments that fill my day. They will not be finished. They will not be perfect. But they will be filled with love and inspired by God’s lengthy, never-ending, creative task in the world.
How does this word speak to you?