Hard Work

CAW031I spent the morning listening to Dr. David Gill talk about the theology of the workplace. He is the Mockler-Phillips Professor of Workplace Theology and Business Ethics at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and Director of the Mockler Center for Faith and Ethics in the Workplace. He has a wonderfully redemptive angle of vision and a winsome spirit.

Then when I came home I read this excerpt from Helmut Thielicke’s book The Waiting Father: Sermons on the Parables of Jesus: “To me it is always a comfort that nearly all the incidents in which people become involved with Christ happen on these sober, serious workdays when a man has to stick to the job. The disciples are caught while they are fishing, and therefore at pretty hard work, and the tax collectors are accosted in their offices. And if it is not work, it is some need or distress. When a man has leprous sores, when a man’s little daughter has died, as with Jairus, when a man is blind and crippled and is obliged to cadge a few pennies in any crowd that comes along he is not likely to be in a solemn, religious mood. He is more liable to be depressed or indifferent. And this is always the time when Jesus comes.”

This was a long and discouraging day for me at work (despite the wonderful lecture by Dr. Gill). I am grateful for the reminder that this is just the kind of context where Jesus shows up. As Eugene Peterson observes, “The sanctuary is essential, but it isn’t the primary location for the day-by-day cultivation and practice of spirituality, the Holy Spirit shaping the Christ-life in us.”

I do not always know what God is doing. Indeed, lately it seems as if I hardly ever know what He is doing. But He is there and He is at work. That’s what Jesus said: “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (John 5:17).


Published by

John Koessler

John Koessler serves as professor and chair of the pastoral studies department at Moody Bible Institute. His most recent book is The Radical Pursuit of Rest published by InterVarsity Press.

3 thoughts on “Hard Work”

  1. George wanted me to pass this quote on…
    “Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.”
    – Sir James M. Barrie, Scottish author and playwright

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