43: Your work matters to God (John 1:1–5,14)

Scripture ReadingJohn 1:1–5,14

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1) The majestic opening of John’s Gospel shows us the limitless scope of the Word’s work. He is the definitive self-expression of God, the one through whom God created all things in the beginning. He stretches out the cosmos as the canvas for the expression of God’s glory.

The Word is working; and because his work began in the beginning, all subsequent human labor is derived from his initial labor. Derived is not too strong a word, because everything people work with was created by him.

John’s Gospel is not grounded in separating the spiritual versus the material, or the sacred versus the spiritual, or any other dualism. It does not portray salvation as the liberation of the human spirit from the shackles of the material body. Jesus’ followers are not called to abandon some sort of “secular” world in order to enter a “spiritual” one. Instead, Jesus calls his followers to receive and use the power of God’s spirit in the present world. He came to restore the world to the way God intended it to be, not to lead an exodus out of the world.

If further evidence for God’s ongoing commitment to the creation is needed, we may turn to John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and lived among us.” The incarnation is not the triumph of the spirit over the flesh, but the fulfillment of what the flesh was created for in the beginning. And the flesh is not a temporary base of operations, but the Word’s permanent abode. If the world in general is of such immense concern to God, it stands to reason that the work done within that world matters to him as well.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for being the Word made flesh. You came to restore the world to the way God intended it to be, not to lead an exodus out of the world. May my work bless your work of restoration today. Amen.

For Further Exploration: Read In the Beginning Was the Word (John 1:1-18) from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.

Author: Theology of Work Project

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