Work and Worship
Yesterday as I read Ann's post, Work, Prayer and Dirty Troughs, it gave me pause for reflection. She beautifully takes Proverbs 14:4 and applies it to daily life.
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
Yes, without children, our houses would be clean(er). Some of our days would be less hectic and stressful. We could just hop into the store for a gallon of milk without waking sleeping ones, and fiddling with carseats. We could just do things, unfettered and undelayed by these dependant little beings.

Her opening thoughts lead me in a slightly different direction. God reminds her,
Don’t you want to come serve Me?
Put them to bed and then come be with Me.
You can clean up, and we’ll talk. And I can do a bit of cleaning in your heart.
Work is your liturgy.... Remember?”
Work as liturgy. I've heard that somewhere before. At a seminar about developing an integral faith, in fact. It is one of the guiding principles of the A'vodah Institute.

Many of us struggle with a "compartmentalized" Christianity. Not every thought and every action is brought under the headship of Christ. Work, in particular, seems difficult to integrate. I no longer have this difficulty in a professional sense, and I strive always to keep before me my tasks in the home as service to God. But I am not always successful.

God worked for six days and on the seventh He rested. We work for six days and on the seventh we worship. It is easy to forget our service to God as we labor in the fields...even if they are His fields. We are probably all familiar with the term, "Sunday Christian" and it sometimes applies to us more than we like. Do we truly do all things to the glory of God?

The Hebrew of the Old Testament has an interesting word, bringing synthesis and unity to our lives in Christ and in this world. A'vodah is a transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning meaning both to work and to worship. As I was looking through the 261 verses this word appears in, two stood out to me:
Six days thou shalt labor, and do all thy work
--Deuteronomy 5:13

Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
--Deuteronomy 6:13
Whether you are working in the fields or serving the Lord in His temple, the same word is used. There is perfect unity of expression for the daily work of maintaining a family, laboring in the fields, attending to the needs of the tabernacle and serving God. It does not matter whether we are sowing a garden, washing the dishes, cleaning dirty faces, or helping with school work, how we work...our diligence, sacrifice, loyalty and worship to the God we serve.

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