Pastor Chris Tweitmann
Whether it’s a paid job, an ongoing, regular task we are accomplishing, or even a short-term project to which we commit ourselves, our days and our lives are filled with, marked by our work. If we stop and think about it, our jobs are what we spend the majority of our time doing.
Work is, as we often say, what we do for a living. It marks the time. For many of us, the single or various jobs we have, paid or unpaid, are a means to an end. A necessary evil in order to provide or acquire what we need in order to survive and hopefully also, enjoy life.
However, as we learned, work is what we were made for. When God created humanity, he made us in His image. Part of bearing God’s image means reflecting and representing what God is like. And from the very beginning onward through the story of the Bible all the way to the end of life as we know it as envisioned in the book of Revelation, we see the Lord working. We see God creating life. We witness God cultivating life. We experience God sharing and extending life to and through us.
Therefore, as God’s image bearers, we are called from the start of human existence to go and do likewise – to work. The whole canvas of creation, not just this planet but universes upon universes are laid out before us both to care for and enhance all creation as a showcase of the glory and beauty and majesty of God. Our work of fostering cultures – families, social networks, language, art, food, music, etc. – is be our worship of the Lord – how God’s glory is to be spread throughout all creation.
The Lord’s original design for work was that human beings would spend their lives in productive and fulfilling activity with regular breaks for rest, renewal, and in celebration of God’s blessing. However, when sin entered the picture through our rebellion and rejection against God, work changed. Because of human sin, not everything in the world of work is as it should be. Work as designed and intended by God, like everything else, is broken. Because of human sin, work is hard –involving sweat and toil and thorns and thistles. Work is stressful and consuming – demanding overtime and increased productivity.
But work can be good. Like everything else in all creation, God in Christ came to redeem work. As we learned, Jesus’ redemption of our lives includes the discovery of purpose, gifts, and even the realization of God’s calling in the midst of our work. Last week, the light of the Gospel was shined on an often believed but totally false myth about work. There is no divide between the sacred and the secular. Work is holy, possessing the potential to glorify God, whether one preaches a sermon, prepares meals, cleans the house, teaches students, cares for sick patients, or closes business deals. Our work, whatever it is, matters to God.
This Sunday, we will consider why our work matters to God. Or more specifically, we will look to the scriptures to answer the question of exactly how human work glorifies the Lord. To put this another way, does God need our labor? Is the Kingdom of God somehow in jeopardy if we fail to do our jobs? Join us as we dive a little bit deeper in understanding how our work is our worship. Together let us discover, while we are all working for God, the Lord doesn’t need our work at all. And yet, as we will see doing our jobs well, whatever they might be, has eternal consequences.
Grace to you!