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Title

Living faith

Celebrating our labor

Created date

August 20th, 2013
Construction worker
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We celebrate Labor Day every September. Unfortunately, for too many of us, it s one of the few times that we connect labor with celebrate, and only because it s a day off from work. But what if we viewed work as an intrinsically good thing (as in the book of Genesis) that will go on forever (as in Revelation)? God worked for six days to create the heavens and the earth, then set apart the seventh day to celebrate and enjoy it all. God gave Adam and Eve work to do to fill, subdue, and rule over the earth while they were still living in paradise. So work is inherently a good thing; it s just corrupted now by the evil that entered into the world.

Our work is God s work

In his bookFaith Goes to Work, Robert Banks suggests that we will enjoy our work more if we understand how it relates to God s work, rather than viewing it merely as a means of self-fulfillment. For example, carpenters, designers, builders, painters, artists, tailors, and musicians use their creativity to partner with God in fashioning a beautiful physical world. Counselors, pastors, and diplomats join in the mission of interpersonal reconciliation. Farmers, businesspeople, mechanics, and computer programmers are examples of those providing for and sustaining the creation. Lawyers, government workers, military, and law enforcement personnel come alongside God to maintain peace and justice. Medical professionals, social workers, and community workers bring God s compassion, comfort, and healing. Educators, scientists, and journalists enlighten us with truth. Work was not supposed to be toil, writes Michael Metzger of the Clapham Institute. Loving our neighbors means making a better world where they flourish as human beings. Those who are retired from paid labor take heart your work lives on! Certainly it abides in the lives of those it touched and the common good that it produced. It breathes in the countless unpaid hours still given to serving our families and communities. And, according to Revelation, there is more work to be done in the new heavens and new earth of eternity. The best thing about that work is that we ll do it without the thorns, thistles, and sweat from the likes of office politics, physical exhaustion, and pollution. Now that s a reason to celebrate! Write to me at 703 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville, MD 21228, orbill@ericksontribune.com.

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