And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
Over the past two weeks, we have looked to Scripture to refute two of the most common stories the world shares about the meaning of work: “The Office Story” (work is a meaningless means to an end) and “The Hamilton Story” (work is a means of justifying my existence). Both of these narratives about work are minuscule when compared to the epic narrative the Bible assigns to work.
So, what is “The Biblical Story” of work?
It starts “in the beginning” when God created work as worship in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1 and 2).
Once sin entered the picture, work became difficult (Genesis 3:17) and the world needed to be put back to rights. There was now a need for God’s Kingdom to come “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Fast forward to the first Easter Sunday and we see Jesus inaugurating that Kingdom and then leaving us behind to help bring it about. In Matthew 24:14, Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
The narrative of the world has already been written. And guess what? It’s not about us. It’s about working to bring about Jesus’s Kingdom. That’s the story of life. It is also the story of work.
What does it look like to participate in that cosmic story for work?
It looks like proclaiming the excellencies of God (1 Peter 2:9) and loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39) through the pursuit of excellent work. It looks like making disciples of our King, regardless of what our job title is (Matthew 28:19), and working in-line with the values of God’s upside-down Kingdom (Matthew 5:3-10). It looks like creating products that have a shot of lasting into eternity (Isaiah 60) and in whatever you do, doing it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
The world is going somewhere. God has already written the script. The only choice we have to make is whether or not we want to be a part of the cast. Want to find the biggest story for your life and work? Lose yourself as an extra in God’s epic story for the world. Work is not a meaningless means to an end or a means of making your or my name great. Work, as God intended it, is a means of glorifying Him by proclaiming the gospel of His Kingdom to every crevice of creation.