It’s 3:30 AM and the alarm goes off again. My usual practice is to keep hitting the snooze button until the last possible moment. Getting up this early is not my idea of a good time nor am I going to the job of my dreams. Despite the hour and my fatigue, love for my family and our desire for food compels me to get up.
Through the day, I simply try to push through until I can finally go home. Leaving work is sometimes the best part of my work day. This used to be my story many days as I am sure it is the story of countless others as well, but the Gospel has changed everything for me, including my job. Work is drudgery to most and avoided altogether when possible by many.
As Americans, we find ourselves living for the weekend where we can “really live.” Leisure, rest and relaxation are held as the ultimate goals in life. Yet, does this have to be our story? The Gospel actually gives a different story to work. Rest is good as many would agree, but so is work. Work is good. The story of work begins with God. The opening chapters of the Bible begin with a God who works by speaking creation into existence. The same God who works then creates humanity and gives them a job. Humanity images the working God in and through their work, which is their act of worship. Yet, the story of work takes a tragic turn after Adam and Eve disobey God. Being separated from the life of God, work itself now becomes a thing of worship and can be very difficult, frustrating and sometimes pointless.
However, the story of work does not end there. God, in his mercy and grace, intervenes by taking on humanity in the God-man, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect life including holding a job and doing it all in such a way that was pleasing to God, in fact it was worship. Jesus lived and worked as God had intended for all of humanity. Even further, Jesus was given the hardest job of all, dying for those who would be his murderers. At the completion of his task, Jesus, being both God and man, could not be held by death because death was for the disobedient and Jesus was perfect. Jesus arose from the grave as Lord of everything and one day when all creation has been restored, humanity will worship through their work just as Adam and Eve once did, in the beginning.
Jesus’ work has now changed work completely. Because of this Gospel, humanity is not freed from work, but rather freed to work with a new power, the Holy Spirit, a new motivation, Jesus in our place, and a new direction, the supremacy of God in all things. Going to work no longer has to be drudgery because it is a part of a bigger story. Your work matters! To find out more about how your work matters, join us this summer in City Life.
-Jon Sheets (College Ministry)