Work + Faith Forum Seminar Recap
Today the Work + Faith Forum hosted its first Seminar, to dig deeper into some of the bigger issues of work:
We find ourselves compelled towards work, because of the “deep character” of the world, because of how it’s been made. We feel within ourselves that work is good. And we see it - it’s the means by which we are provided what we need and desire. From our work, we purchase/acquire/etc. But we also see that it’s embedded in us, that work is good. One suffering of unemployment is simply the lack of fruitful work. But it is good for society, and again we sense this: woe to the society that has a large number of unemployed young men!
And then our inner sense connects with what we sense in our world: we see the created world around us, and resonate with it, and we responds to it with a creative impulse, to shape, construct and create, into something good. It’s as if a Master Constructor put it all together this way.
We need wisdom for pursuing our work fruitfully. But both we and our world are bent, broken by sin. Thus we are prone to make both our work and our world all about us. So then we are prone to try to bend resources, companies, clients, employees in on ourselves - to use them to make them all about . . . ME. So what wisdom can free us, to work according to the “deep character” of the universe? Only the gospel, only God. Jesus himself is the wisdom embedded in the deepest fabric of this world. Only by gaining a connection with God through Christ do we experience real love, and then are freed to use not people but work as a means to love God and others. Work becomes a medium whereby we offer ourselves in worship to God. The gospel frees us from worshiping work to worshiping God in our work.
God calls us to certain work, and thereby confers great dignity on all work. Through the banker, butcher and banker, our generous Creator is ordering the world, wearing each person as His mask (per Martin Luther). This means that no matter what your job is today, God has called you to it. Therefore, your job today is “the Lord’s work”. What God privileges is not your title, but Himself, Who calls all their place, according to His generous grace.
In a future Seminar, we hope to explore what these principles mean for those in creative endeavors.