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Joseph and Mary had taken the young Jesus to the big city for the celebration of the Passover. On their way home, they discovered that Jesus was missing! Terrified, they rushed back to Jerusalem. After much searching, they found Jesus in the Temple. "What are you doing here? We were worried about you!" Jesus' reply was strange to them, as it would be to us, "Don't you know that I must be doing my Heavenly Father's work?"

God's work and our work, a strange combination! What does it mean to be doing God's work here on earth? Edgar Frank might have been thinking along these lines when he wrote ...

"A man I know made an altar bench out of his factory bench.

And one has turned the counter of his store into a place of sacrifice and ministry;

Another has changed his office desk into a pulpit-desk from which to write and speak; transforming commonplace affairs into the business of the King!

A "Martha" in our midst has made her kitchen table a communion-table;

And a postman makes his daily rounds a walk in the temple of God...

To all these, each daily happening has come to be a whisper from the lips of God, each separate task a listening-post, and every common circumstance becomes a wayside shrine!"

EVERY GOOD WORK IS OF GOD -- God is good! Every work that God does is good work. When God created all things, God stepped back and surveyed all that he had made, and God said, "Now that's really good." Finally, God took some common clay, shaped it and molded it, and breathed life into it -- and God said, "This is the best work I've ever done." In the Paradise that God created, God gave Man and Woman the responsibility of working with Him in developing His world. And Adam and Eve worked with the Lord God, taking their responsibility seriously. Adam and Eve enjoyed the work! Sure, they often grew tired; but the work brought them a sense of satisfaction, as well as peace of mind. Through it all, the Lord God worked alongside them. At the end of the workday, God and Adam and Eve enjoyed a feast of Bar-B-Q and iced tea; afterward, they walked around Paradise rejoicing in their accomplishments!

OUR WORK IS TAINTED BY OUR SIN -- When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, rebelling against his authority and breaking His holy laws, work became a dreaded chore. Man and Woman worked hard all day; yet, they derived no satisfaction or peace of mind from their efforts. The earth itself resisted their efforts. Weeds grew up and choked out the good grain. Adam and Eve found themselves at odds with God, and at odds with each other. They concentrated on doing "their" work, leaving God out of their plans; and most often they neglected to do "God's work" at all.

JESUS MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE -- Jesus knew that there are times when God's work and our work go hand-in-hand. Jesus also knew that sometimes we must put aside our work in order to do God's work. Just as in the beginning -- when Adam and Eve placed God's work ahead of their own, they experienced satisfaction and peace. So it is with us! Whenever we make God's work our No. 1 priority, God will bless the work, and us!

NOW IS THE TIME -- For all to bring our lives into line with God's plan for our lives! Now is the time to put God's work first, and our work second. Now is the time to learn, again, to work with God; then, and only then will we be blessed with the "good life," gain satisfaction from what we do, and find ourselves at peace with God, and with each other.

AMEN!

Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist minister who lives in Jackson. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Religion on 08/29/2019

Print Headline: God's Work And Our Work

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