When my wife and I moved to North Carolina, we clearly were misinformed about the ensuing war we now found ourselves a part of. What war you ask? The war between those who adhere to the color blue being lighter and those who argue that true blue is of a darker shade. More specifically, it was a war between a Tar heel and a Devil (I quickly learned that NC State is completely irrelevant because they stink at everything). To be honest, as a guy who grew up as an avid Philadelphia sports fan, I had no dog in the fight.
But this was not acceptable. Apparently there is no room for apathy in this debate. I think our in-state basketball rivalry is a great example of how we love to create the “either/or”. Either you are a Mac person or you’re wrong…I mean not. Either you like vacationing in the mountains or at the beach. Either you like Geno’s or you like Pats (for all my Philly cheese steak lovers out there). Equating any of these things would be, well…weird at best and completely erroneous at worse.
Creating such dichotomies is all fine and dandy and it can lead to some fun (as well as lively) discussion. But what happens when we begin to separate things that are a bit more serious and weighty in matter. One such dichotomy that I find exists is between that of work and Christianity. Be honest…has there ever been a time when you’ve asked, “what does my work have to do with being a Christian?” Does my job as a banker, lawyer, doctor, secretary, or stay-at-home mom have anything to do with following Jesus?
Unfortunately, I think we’ve too often answered that question with a lot of uncertainty. And maybe you’re in a place now where you feel definitively that the answer is “no”…being a Christian is great and all but it really doesn’t have anything to do with my nine to five. Can I encourage you for just a minute by telling you that you could not be further from the truth?
Matt Perman (one of my new favorite authors) recently wrote this on his blog,
“We can all find meaning in our work, whatever it is, by doing it for Christ and doing it with creativity and excellence. This is something any person can do in any vocation.” This is not a pie in the sky Christian fantasy but rather a biblical reality.
Going all the way back to the book of Genesis the Bible is clear that every one of us has been created by God (in His image) and charged with cultivating the earth (i.e. working) in the specific way God has shaped and gifted us (cf. Gen 1:28; 2:15). In sum…your Monday through Friday matters as much as your Sunday. In turn, this theology of work liberates you to work with excellence and with greater purpose. So go ahead and cheer for UNC or for Duke…certainly not both. But where a separation does not exist…do not create one. Christian, your work has meaning…it has value…and it is deeply connected to the mission of God.
As a church, we are committed to seeing the people at Mercy Hill embrace, believe, and live out a true theology of work. That is why this summer we are launching our City Life summer project. For eight weeks you will intern (or work) in your area of study. Not only we will help place you in this internship, we will also provide training materials, four weekend forums, and discipleship time to discuss pertinent issues related to the theology of work. If you are a college student or young professional you can apply here.
 Just to appease your curiosity…since my wife is employed by the University of North Carolina I felt an obligation to lean in that direction.
– Jeremy Dager (Pastor of Age-based Ministries)