You, God's Mask
No matter what work you have been called to today, Martin Luther has a word for you:
“God could easily give you grain and fruit without your plowing and planting. But He does not want to do so. . . . What else is all our work to God—whether in the fields, in the garden, in the city, in the house, in war, or in government—but just such a child’s performance, by which He wants to give His gifts in the fields, at home, and everywhere else? These are the masks of God, behind which He wants to remain concealed and do all things.
“We have the saying: ‘God gives every good thing, but not just by waving a hand.’ God gives all good gifts; but you must lend a hand and take the bull by the horns.
“Make the bars and gates, and let Him fasten them. Labor, and let Him give the fruits. Govern, and let Him give His blessing. Fight, and let Him give the victory. Preach, and let Him win hearts. Take a husband or a wife, and let Him produce the children. Eat and drink, and let Him nourish and strengthen you. And so on. In all our doings He is to work through us, and He alone shall have the glory from it.”
Whether you care for babies, bake bread, build banks or butcher beef, Luther frames work this way:
1. Whatever work is before you today, God has called you to it.
2. There is particular good that God is pushing into the world, through the work He’s called you to. God is generous, and generous to the world. Thus He is wearing you as His mask.
3. The above is true, and has been true every day of your life, whether you realized it and acknowledged it or not.
4. Think about that again.
5. Thus . . . “Doing the Lord’s work” is not only “finding ways to share the gospel in your place of work”. “Doing the Lord’s work” equally means simply doing a good job in whatever work is set before you today. Period. Since God is behind all good work, that equalizes the dignity and importance of all good work.
6. Yes, the gospel is preeminently important. But if trash were never removed from this town, we would all literally die, and have no opportunity to share the gospel. God uses everyone’s work to be generous to the world. Therefore all our work will - eventually - serve the mission of Christ.
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