Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Does God Care About Hardwood Floors?

We live in a fallen, broken world, yet God has not abandoned His stuff. It is His intention to restore it, as it says in Col. 1:19-20, to “reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven…”

The God of the Bible is the God of the physical as well as the spiritual. He is the God of the temporal as well as the eternal. He is fulfilling His purposes in both the perishable as well as the imperishable. To think His works are of value in the eternal realm but not in the temporal, is to fall short of appreciating His full purposes for both heaven and earth. He is out to do His will in both.

There is a tendency to value the eternal, spiritual aspects of reality so much that, even if by implication, we downgrade the temporal, physical world of the here-and-now. While this goes well with Plato, it was never a hallmark of the ancient Hebrew. [See http://youtu.be/KBd9mB2S6S0.] The First Commission of Genesis 1:26-28 is a call to engage with the material world, as co-workers with God.  

We usually think of “worship” as something we do at church on Sunday morning. But could a man also be engaged in legitimate worship by sanding a hardwood floor on Monday morning?  I’m not talking about whistling a worship song while he’s working. I mean, could a man be engaged in authentic worship through sanding wood?  Could sanding wood be “the Lord’s work?” Or is the committed Christian more likely to think, “someday I’ll quit this job and go into the ministry!”

It boils down to some simple questions, like, Does God care about hardwood floors? Does He care about building houses, or manufacturing good electric sanders? Does He really want these things done?

Jesus said He only did what the Father showed Him to do. Did that arrangement only get started at age 30? It appears the Father showed Jesus to do carpentry for about six times longer than He showed Him to do preaching and teaching.

Justin Martyr, in the second-century, reported that people in his day were still using plows made by Joseph and Jesus. It must have been quality workmanship! Yet these plows are not used today. Does that mean Christ’s carpentry had no real value, because His plows haven’t lasted 2000 years?
I think the Father really wanted the carpentry done in the day Christ did it.

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