“What’s my motivation” is a well-worn cliché when it comes to actors in less than starring roles. You’ve no doubt seen a skit in which a background actor, paid only to not be a distraction as the scene takes place in front of them, jumping up, stopping the cameras, and asking, with passionate over-acting, “What’s my motivation?” In that case, the motivation is to sit down and shut up, but most of the time in life, our motivations are varied and highly nuanced. While other times, motivation simply doesn’t exist.
This Sunday, we begin a seven week journey through the Letter to the Hebrews (which will be interrupted by the propers for All Saints’ Day) with a convoluted lection dealing with angels and authority that invites us to ask, “What’s my motivation.” Since today is the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, it might serve preacher and congregation well to spend some time on the topic of angels, but I’m not preaching, so I’ll skip over the whole “your Aunt Ethel didn’t become an angel when she died” controversy.
Instead, I’d like to look at a line that comes later in the lesson, in which the author lays out a reasonable argument for Jesus’ most unreasonable death. In an aside that is almost a throw away line, the author writes, “It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Since it is the foundation of our creedal understanding of God the Father, we can surely understand the latter half of the bold faced text, but that first bit, that all of creation exists for God, invites us to ponder for a bit.
How does your life change if you realize that you exist not just because of God, but for God? What does it look like to live for God? What does it feel like when all the other motivations in life fade away and you simply rest on the knowledge that you existence is only and always, for God?