In 1990, the A-cappella group AVB put CD called “What’s Your Tag Say“. The album was drenched with Christian satire. Songs like “Growing Up with King James”, “Legalistic Tendencies”, and “What’s Your Tag Say” were fun, up-beat songs meant to make light of some of the issues within Christianity at the time. But one of my favorite songs from this album would have to be “You Can’t Go to Church.” I believe it brought to light a truth that many people just don’t think about too often.
The lyrics to the chorus are as follows… “You can’t go to church, as some people say. The common terminology we use everyday. You can go to a building, that is something you can do. But you can’t go to church, ’cause the church is you.”
But isn’t that a phrase that we use pretty often… “See you at church.” “Want to come to church with me.” etc… etc. I believe the problem is bigger than just terminology, though. I believe statements like these are a result of our understanding that the worship of God happens when you go to a building on Sunday morning… we call it “church”. Now, I sure that was never the intent, but this thinking has allowed us to compartmentalize Christianity. On Sunday I go to church, so I dress up, clean up, and act like a Christian. But on Monday, I go to “work”… which is different… right.
The word for “work” in Hebrew is avodah. But what is interesting, the Hebrew word for “worship” is also avodah. To the Hebrew man, his Thursday morning activities were just as much an expression of worship as being in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Follow that through to the New Testament and there is nothing in scripture that depicts the Christian life divided into sacred and secular parts. Everything is sacred when you are Christian… you have no luxury (or curse) of something secular.
Martin Luther (not Dr. King) once said… “I advise everyone against entering any religious order or the priesthood unless he is forearmed with this knowledge and understands that the works of monks and priests, however holy and arduous they may be, do not differ one whit in the sight of God from the works of the rustic laborer in the field or the woman going about her household tasks, for that all works are measured before God by faith alone.”
God calls people to work… not just in ministry. Your “calling” is from God. Let’s make a difference in the world working for God and realizing that everything is sacred… there is no secular.
What is it about your work (job) that makes it sacred?