Work and Vocation (19 Jan 2020)

Last sunday, we briefly heard about the phrase, theology of work, being mentioned over the pulpit rostrum. For the next few sundays, more will be spoken on the topic of Rythm of Work & Rest in the economy of God. The ideas of Work has been shaped by worldviews from the ancient Greek world to the Renaissance time and into the postmodern world. But in the eyes of a Christian, we believe our engagement with the world will and has not changed.

These days we face immense changes in our workplaces. “Long” service awards are given when tenor as short as 3-5 years are attained. Fewer people work for long tenor within one company. People will have several careers in their lifetime. Formerly a CV with thirty years of service with one firm was an asset, a sign of loyalty and dependability; now it may be seen as a liability. More are opting for contract employment instead of yearning for a fulltime work. People are forced to sell their services as value-added to companies and customers. See how companies like GRAB, Telcos, etc, have flourished over the recent years.

Last week sermon passage of Genesis 1, mentioned many times that at the end of each creation day, God said it is good and when God finished making the world and the first couple He said, “it is very good”. Work has extrinsic value (provision, money, etc), it also has intrinsic value: it is good in itself. It is our aim and desire that intrinsically work is good for us, good for the world and good for God.

Hence it is key that our work must be good for the world, good for our neighbour and good for us as well.

Work enables us to provide for ourselves and our loved ones (2 Thess 3:7-10). It equips us to help the poor and needy by sharing our excess and being good stewards (Eph 4:28). It is a practical way of showing neighbourly love. Gospel work restores people to God and bring peace, forgiveness and hope. Ministry work like counselling, parroting, teaching, mostly hidden behind the scenes, but important in God’s eyes – intrinsically good !

Retirees, new entrance to the work force and mature workers alike, have a place in the sphere of the theology of work.

 

Elder Andrew Lim