Pastor Jeff Knott of Grace Church in Port Hope, Ontario continues the sermon series “Rejoicing the City” with “A Theology of Work”:
Timothy Keller says, “The righteous are the just. The people who follow God’s heart and ways and who see everything they have as gifts from God to be stewarded for His purposes.”
We need to connect our work with God’s work.
Genesis tells us that God is the original worker, and more than that, He delights in His work.
If God can make something and say it’s good, why can’t we make something and find pleasure and joy in it? We are basically mirroring God when we do that.
In the creation story, we are the only creature that’s given a job. What’s our job – to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it.
It means to be fruitful in all kinds of ways. Our lives are meant to be generative. We’re meant to generate things and create things and make things happen that weren’t before.
The earth was given to us in its raw form. Creation was largely undeveloped.
God calls us to shape our world for good. That’s what our labour is all about – unlocking what is in the world for the good of the world.
We can’t take credit for the raw material God placed within creation, but on some level we have to take the praise and the blame for what we’ve done with it.
Work was part of God’s perfect paradise. Work was good before it was bad.
What makes work good? It’s good because it gives us a chance to mirror God in making something of our world. It contributes to human significance and meaning. It adds to creation; it adds to what God intends the world to do anyway.
Work is just as needful as food, just as needful as friendship, just as needful as beauty and rest, needful as communion with God and with our sexuality, because all those things were present in the garden before the Fall.
We’re designed for work – it’s not about money, it’s primarily about service – Service to God and to others.
All work is valuable, every job counts, every task matters.
In the beginning God was a gardener. Jesus was a carpenter. The Son of God comes as a regular Joe in a regular Joe-job.
Timothy Keller says, “No task is too small a vessel to hold the immense dignity of work given by God.”
Mother Teresa said, “Not all of us can do great things. In fact most of us won’t do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
Your work lasts. What you’ve done in the world carries on. Your work matters.
Newbigging says, “Every faithful act of service, every honest labour to make the world a better place, which seems to have been forever lost and forgotten in the rubble of history, will be seen on that day, the final resurrection day, to have contributed to the perfect fellowship of God’s Kingdom. All who committed their work in faithfulness to God, will be by Him raised up to share in the new age and will find that their labour was not lost, but that it has found its place in God’s completed Kingdom.”
Work – it has dignity, it has value, it has God’s blessing on it and He wants to use it to cause others to look to Him.