Today is a holiday for us that was initiated by our TPs and given to us by God. But most days we work. Work is what much of our life is made up of, and our work, what ever it happens to be, is v much connected to us understanding how to celebrate this day of all things.
When I started preparing content for this 50th day of all things, I started to research a little about the 3rd blessing which is at the heart of our theology on how we understand our purpose in life: we are to become human beings who have a dominion of love over the natural world.
It struck me how in many respects as a community we have lots to do to develop a culture around this aspect of our life.
At some point I wanted to also talk about tithing because through offering God a gift of our wealth through our local church, we bind our selves to God in a special way. Our money tends to go where our heart is, and so when we give generously to serve God and others it shows us and reassures us that our heart is really motivated to honour God and serving others.
But before we explore tithing I have a sense that we have a need to encourage everyone to feel free to own things.
It’s very hard for me to give myself to God’s calling if I don’t feel like I am fully responsible and autonomous in my outlook on life.
The more I am in command of my destiny the more I can become authentically free to be taken up by the wind’s of God’s will for my life and the needs of His world. When I add my plan to God’s plan and they become one, it creates a powerful force.
We are striving to become owners of CIG, God’s Kingdom on earth. But what to we own. Are we owners of our movement, our churches, our organization? Do we feel like the owners of our society? How many people own their home? When we own something we are able to exert influence, and make important decisions. We have the power to make things happen.
So how do we do get there? How do we create a culture of ownership, that God can bless.
Last Sunday we spoke about how we can use our abilities to honour God and serve others, and it is through how we use our abilities that we create culture and engage with God’s natural world. We looked at that first England goal, and we took Gerrard as an example.
And so what are the aspects of my life that I should take greater ownership of to ensure my destiny with God?
When we consider our purpose in the context of the 3rd blessing we should really have a stronger sense of vocation, of taking pride in my work, because it is through the sweat I shed on a daily basis in my work that I am able to create God’s kingdom on this earth.
Through my work I make money. It allows me to take care of my family, and contribute to my community, to help others.
Money represents all things. With money you can buy land, materials, resources, and you can in that way take part in building God’s kingdom.
That is why I do not like to talk too much about my role as a pastor being a mission. Can be misleading. It is a job, and for anyone of faith to have a job is to have a mission.
And in that way I can understand that from God’s big broad perspective the work each of us do wherever we do it is of equal value to God. My work as a pastor is not more valuable to God than the work Ajay does as a film producer, or Mr Sato does running his taxi business. People may give certain jobs in certain cultures greater status, but they are not necessarily in line with God’s evaluation.
The reason being that God’s concern and hope is for all people, all industries, all organs of state, and for all professions, because for God they are all needed to build his home town.
And so if we can conduct our selves at work in a way that conforms to God’s ethics, morals, and believe that the work we do is significant for God, then we become lords of creation.
So, when I hear about people in our community getting good jobs, or successfully starting a business, or following their passion, studying, getting into the industry that they feel called to work in, I feel that God is at work.
And perhaps all we simply need to do as a community to understand the purposes that exist for us in this 3rd blessing, is to develop a culture that allows us to more often celebrate the work that is done by our congregation.
Celebrate the way people treat their colleagues at work, the care they give to their clients, the creativity that they invest in to their business strategy, the talent that they radiate when they perform.
Let us pray now together:
You never made two things that are identical, each leaf, animal, and insect is unique and different, that is what has allowed your creation to develop and in such a beautiful way. Likewise each of us have been given a multitude of abilities that are in so many respects unique and special.
Let us be so much more aware of how in our daily working life you are hoping and watching to see us be good stewards of resources, prudent in our decisions, always seeking to bring joy to you through what you have given us, to share with others the wealth that we have both physically and spiritually.