In Season 1 Episode 5 of The Missional Marketplace Podcast, we explored the blessing of vocation through the eyes of understanding work as a fulfillment of the Great Commandment: to love God and love our neighbor. When we understand that we work and live from a place of “it is finished”, the final, redeeming words of Christ on the cross, we can focus all of our energy into loving God and loving our neighbor, even at work.
Work is not just work. A job is not just a job. Our vocation is a missions field, just like we’ve been exploring through this podcast series, and our vocation is an opportunity to worship God. What an honor it is to simply work!
Today we also explored the Hebrew word “abodah”, coming from the root word “abad”. This word is translated in our English Bibles as “cultivate” (Genesis 2-3), “labor” (Psalm 104:23), “worship” (Exodus 8:20), and “serve” (Joshua 24:15), as in serving a leader or lord. The interesting connection here is the connection between work & worship. Context matters in the Bible, so understanding that in Exodus 8:20 the LORD was calling His people to minister to Him and to serve Him, which was their religious practice, but this was also their act of worship to God – worshipping through service to God.
The fascinating part about this, though, is that now, through Christ, work is redeemed. And now, through Christ, we can work “as unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:17, 23), meaning that our work, our service, our “abodah” now becomes worship to God as we realize this and set our hearts to this notion. Now, through & in our work, we worship & serve God. We fulfill the first part of the Great Commandment by working as unto the Lord! Next, we set our hearts to loving our neighbor, both at work and in our work. As we do this, we understand that we work from a place of more than just “being at our job” or “getting it done”, but we are now being intentionally placed in our workplace as a light, a representative of God, and a minister of reconciliation (1 Corinthians ). We have an intentional placement at work – God has put us there to fulfill the Great Commission, to love Him and love our neighbors, and thus bring people to Jesus by our example. Wow! Work is important!
Finally, following this, our Missional Moment today from Darren Messick really backed us up. Darren transitioned out of 25 years of full-time ministry to take a job at FedEx. Little did he know, this was now his missions field. Darren received a dream from God that revealed to him he was no longer preaching the Gospel from the podium in front of tens of thousands of people, but rather he was serving God and loving his neighbor right where he was – at a workplace of 10-12 delivery guys. The testimonies of God’s hand reaching into the workplace through Darren is beautiful. God cares about every person, from the CEO to the overnight delivery driver, and when we seek to honor God and love our neighbor with our work, we can be used by God to bring the life changing power of the Gospel to people that need to hear it. Amen!