My guess is that most of you don’t have a well studied, reflective, or overtly taught theology of everyday work. I certainly didn’t. My work theology was assumed, and it’s safe to say I mindlessly inferred at least some of it from Saturday morning cartoons. I call this Looney Tunes work theology.
Perhaps some of you, like me, are old enough to remember when cartoons were confined mostly to Saturday mornings. We didn’t have whole networks dedicated to cartoon entertainment or endless on-demand options for Popeye, Woody Woodpecker, and the Animaniacs. Saturday mornings, and maybe a few hours after school, were the only place to consume your cartoon diet.
Maybe you remember the classic Looney Tunes series with icons like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and the Roadrunner. Well occasionally, one of those characters, maybe Elmer Fudd, would meet his demise (in a “wascally wabbit” hunting accident) and we would see him floating up into the sky, laying on a cloud, and playing a harp with a halo over his head.
In absence of clear teaching on the subject, this is what my young mind assumed heaven was going to be: cloud sitting and harp playing for all eternity.
So if Adam and Eve were created to lay around all day in a garden on a permanent vacation, and heaven is just laying on clouds and paying stringed instruments into perpetuity, then what in the world is this weird 40+ years of hard labor we’re sentenced to here in between? This work thing has to be some kind of mistake right? Some kind of punishment from God for our sins?
Nope. Work was actually God’s idea. Check this out: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)
The whole tree, and the serpent, and the fruit, and the fall of man…that doesn’t happen until Genesis 3. We’re still in Genesis 2! Work is not some post-fall punishment for our sin. Work is part of God’s original design for mankind. Is it broken by sin? YES! We experience our work through the broken “thorns and thistles” reality of this life. But work itself is not punishment, it’s purpose.
We were created to “work and keep” God’s creation. And redeemed by the Gospel we can experience the first fruits of that redeemed purpose in our everyday work today. So let’s get to it!
EAT BREAKFAST, BE ENCOURAGED
Join us November 18th for our next Stone Table Christian Business Breakfast. We will hear from Matthew Rohrs, CEO of Sinapis, and Chuck Rapp, a marketplace leader whose career spanned over 40 years in IT and Quality Management. Both Matthew and Chuck have powerful insights into the intersection of faith and the marketplace and will be a great encouragement to you in your everyday work.
Grab breakfast and coffee, network with other marketplace believers, and learn from these amazing speakers as they share their experiences. This event is for any business person who wants to learn more about how their faith can integrate more into their everyday work.
Join us on Friday November 18, 2022 from 7:00 – 8:15am at Level Two Co-Working in Plainfield. Please register in advance so we know how many people to expect. We look forward to seeing you there!
NOTE: All proceeds from ticket sales will go to Project Rescue, a Christian anti-sex trafficking organization.
THIS WEEK ON THE WEBSITE:
ARTICLE: Theology of Work 101
Scott Brown expands on episode 4 of the Missional Marketplace podcast outlining Erik and Darren’s discussion of a basic theology of marketplace work.
VIDEO: Marketplace and MIssion with President Scott Hagan
Erik sits down with Scott Hagan, PhD, President of North Central University as he answers the question: “How do you see the marketplace becoming part of God’s mission?”
Accelerating the Great Commission through the Marketplace,
Erik Cooper | The Stone Table
Don’t forget to pick up your copy of Missional Marketplace: Finding Your Everyday Work in God’s Eternal Plan in your choice of print, e-book, or audiobook by clicking here!