Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bethany Bullet - May 10, 2011

What it the first thing that pops into your mind when you read the word, paradise? Perhaps it is a hammock, tropical breeze, clear blue seas, palm trees, and drinks with tiny umbrellas. It could be a field as green as green can be, a warm sun, a bag of peanuts, a cold one, and your favorite team on their home turf pounding the dreaded rivals. For some, it is a great book, a soft seat, and absolute silence, no interruptions and the luxury of getting lost in a wonderful read. Maybe for you paradise is not a location but a period of time, say the middle of June through early September; students, teachers, administrators, and parents can I get an, Amen?

Few of us, if any, would probably say that the first thing that came to mind was the place you pursue your daily labor. Whether you are on the road, at the office, or in the home for your vocation there are probably few of us that had that place enter our minds eye when we read the word, paradise.

The Genesis account proclaims loud and clear that in creation, as in salvation, God is the primary worker; yet one of the blessings He bestows on humanity is that of working with Him as partners in the Creator’s productivity by productive activity of our own.

Paradise, as originally created, was not an escape from labor but the location of it. Paradise originally came with a clock to punch so to speak. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it…Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” True the original couple lost their home. They had to take their work with them where thorn & thistle would grow, the sweat of the brow would no longer be a crown of achievement, and there wouldn’t be a halo of saints living under the LORD but rather a cloud that hovers over head.

One result for Adam & Eve and their offspring (remember, Cain and Abel), was that soon paradise and punching the clock became isolated separate categories. Hence, when it came to labor it was as easy to approach it as one who was worn out as it was to be one who was pumped; as being futile as fruitful and grudging as grateful. True these are not static; such feelings can change season by season, client by client, and project by project.

Our text reminds us that in a fallen world that is filled with thorns, labor is still a blessing. Your work is worthy. Through your active productivity in your labor God is active with His creative productivity as He labors for us and through us. God Himself walks into this world through the feats of His people.

For we have a God who hallowed our labors when He hallowed us as laborers through His own labor.

Jesus knows the sweat of the brow. From His thorn crowned bleeding brow, Jesus labored to reverse the curse. Yes, the curse of being separated from God and never being allowed to enter His garden again; but also the curse of being prone to curse the alarm clock on Monday, the distance of the weekend on mid-day Wednesday, and the boss as we head out the door on Friday. For while we all have our own little picture of paradise, and rightly so, it can also truly be said that we enter a little piece of it every time we punch the clock because therein God Himself walks into a thorn field world to bring His presence.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter