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People often divide life into the secular and the sacred. By that they mean what they perceive to be religious or spiritual (going to church, praying, reading the Bible etc.) and everything else (work, cooking, cleaning, playing, eating etc.)
The Bible doesn’t view life like that. All of life is seen as a gift from God and all of life is meant to be offered to Him freely. That’s why I love the Message version’s paraphrase of Romans 12:1-2:
Our work is one area of life where it’s hugely important to realise the truth of Colossians 3:17:
There’s been a huge amount of talk recently about key workers and understanding that what’s really essential at this time are jobs which perhaps aren’t well paid and weren’t regarded as being that important a few months ago. Hopefully this shift in understanding will remain. Whatever we do, we can do it gladly and in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The Bible is full of key workers whose so-called ‘secular’ jobs made a huge impression on people and even changed the course of history. Joseph, after languishing in prison for crimes he hadn’t committed, ended up being second only in power to Pharaoh, saving nations through his economic strategy during famine. Nehemiah, whose job was to make sure the king didn’t get poisoned by tasting everything before the king did (thus risking his life through his job as many are currently doing), was influential in restoring Jerusalem after the exile. Daniel‘s wisdom led to him becoming a powerful adviser to the king. But there are also examples of what we would consider less important jobs: a girl captured and serving as a slave whose words to Naaman (commander of the army of the king of Aram) led to his healing from leprosy. (2 Kings 5) These people were just doing their ordinary jobs, but were in the right place at the right time to serve God and help others.
I’m praying for God’s people who are working in hospitals, care homes, shops, deliveries, government and other jobs to realise they are serving God, not just people, as they go about their ‘everyday, ordinary lives’ and to take every opportunity they have, in God’s timing and under His guidance, to speak and serve in His name. I heard today a testimony of a Christian man in Northern Ireland who was in hospital with coronavirus and seeking God for healing who was blessed and helped by a cleaner who talked to him freely of God’s love and help. Our ordinary, everyday lives really matter and there are opportunities for us all to speak God’s word to others, even at a time like this. Perhaps especially at a time like this. The Biblical truth is that we are all key workers in the kingdom of God, all Christ’s ambassadors, all entrusted with the message of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:17-21)