Last week I made the unsettling statement that the Kingdom of God is “contaminated.” That is to say, the present expression of Christ’s Kingdom on earth has been infected by the work of a malicious enemy (Satan), who came in the night and sowed bad seed into the Lord’s field: His Kingdom (Matthew 13:37-43).
I think the fact that we presently live in a contaminated "field" may be the crux of the reason why so many Christians tend to withdraw from this present world, and why some of us see the work of a pastor or a missionary as being the only truly worthwhile and significant occupation on earth (as I did when I was twelve).
We don’t like to think of God's world as being infected. Sick. Broken. Furthermore, we may tend to think that because the field is so infected with weeds, it isn’t worth anything to Him, or to anyone else. And the airplanes we build keep decaying in a world where things get old and fall to pieces.
This may be the reason why as a child I tended to focus more on after-life issues than the present life, when it came to considering what would be a worthwhile occupation for me to pursue in the here-and-now.
Not only do temporal things decay, but when we see political activity contaminated by human pride and greed, the natural tendency is for us to distance ourselves from politics. “It’s dirty.” And when we see business practice infected by the love of money, we tend to think devout Christians ought to disassociate themselves from professions that deal with a lot of money.
While there are certain professions that can never be pleasing to God (such as human trafficking), there are very few professions that cannot be redeemed [restored, renewed, reclaimed] by the grace of God being expressed through His people in the workplaces of the world.
I think that's what He wants to do with us, and one reason why our "ordinary" work is so important to Him.
Think of the firefighters of 9-11, heading into the problem rather than away from it. As followers of Christ, shouldn’t we be heading into the problem, rather than away from it? And doesn't it make sense to do this through the portal of the work-world?
In view of all that has transpired this past year, shouldn’t we be encouraging Christian young people to become loan officers of the future?