For over 10 years now I have both pastored our church and run a business where we work with and invest in technology startups.
One of the things I’ve come to love about that bi-vocational way of life is that like most of us – I head to work on a Monday morning and try figure out what it means to be a Christian in the marketplace.
When it comes to our work - I’ve learned that God cares about what we do and how we do it. The ancient Hebrews had a deep understanding of how faith and work came together in their lives and they encapsulated that in a word called Avodah (uvudah).
Avodah means the combination of our work, worship and service and many of the early words in the bible about work and worship have been translated from this word Avodah. That’s important because it demonstrates that from the beginning God intended us to work.
Another way to look at this in today’s context is to think about how our work can be a form of worship, where we honour God and serve our neigbours.
I was recently in a business meeting where I was about to launch into a proposal for a new client. At the start of the meeting I asked how our new potential client was going and they answered “Ok I suppose”. Clearly there was something wrong and I was faced with the dilemma of acting professional and getting on the with business part of the meeting – or allowing my Christian values to have a deeper concern for what was going on in their world. On this occasion I politely asked if everything was OK it turn out thee had a family member tragically pass away on the weekend. Obviously they was very upset and I took the liberty to mention I was part of a church and if there was anything practical we could do at that time to help their family we’d would be happy to. To cut a long story short, we made the family some meals and were able to demonstrate the love of God when we dropped them off a few days later.
I share this because it’s a small example of where our faith can intersect with our work.
We often forget that Jesus was in the marketplace. He ran the family carpentry business so would have been dealing with customers, supply and demand, profit and loss – imagine having a table in your house “made by Jesus”. Jesus disciples were from the marketplace, the shepherds that first visited him were small business owners and in the early church most of the miracles happened in the marketplace.
Our example in scripture is to have our faith and our work interacting together and not be a separation of our Sunday life and our working week.
So let me encourage you today to think “What does God looks like at work?”