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WORSHIP@WORK

When we worship something we find our worth in that thing. And when worth is found in God, it is found to give worth out. We can add worth through our work, and invite worthiness in our relationships. Worship thus shapes society, as worth is passed round like a parcel.

We believe that breaking bread together gives us a picture of the Christian life. The bread and the wine show us that human work is involved in worship. But what does this mean for everyday work? What does it mean for everyday work to be offered back to God as worship? What might it mean to turn public policy into benefit payments as an offering to God?

The course is divided into 7 x 30-minute sessions:

  1. Kings. If Jesus is prophet, priest, and king, then being like Jesus means being prophet-like, priest-like, and king-like [1 Peter 2:9]. Being king-like means worshipping God [Deuteronomy 17:19]. When we worship God humility [Deuteronomy 17:20] and generosity follow. God first and neighbour next [Matthew 27:37-39]. This is the rule that God gives to kings [James 2:8].
  2. Creation. Whereas kings represent God’s rule – God first and neighbour next; priests re-present the world to God. When worth is found in God, it is found to give worth out. Worth is passed round like a parcel. Worth can be passed on through our work, when we turn one thing into another.

    1. Fall. The Powers are good because they glue society together. Yet they fall to become idols, dividing society into “us” and “them”. But the Powers can be put back in their place. So when gratitude expresses the worth we find in God, generosity forms society; but when we find our worth in work or money, society is divided. Our worship shapes society.
    2. The Sacred-Secular Divide. Through the lens of the SSD (the so-called “sacred-secular divide”), the “sacred” and the “secular” are like oil and water. But if we reserve “sacred” for God alone, and “secular” for everything he has made, then there is no conflict between the two.

  1. Resurrection. This world will echo in the next. Jesus talks about drinking wine in the kingdom [Mark 14:25]. So the know-how of making wine has a place there. But the next world is not like this one. Wine will be made for the common good. Needs will be met and relationships restored. We should anticipate this by working towards the kingdom now.
  2. Anticipating the Kingdom. Breaking bread together gives us a picture of the new creation [1 Corinthians 11:17-34], where there is no place for looking down on other people.
  3. Breaking Bread Together. Breaking bread together helps us to reflect on our attitude towards work. This is because the workplace produces the bread and the wine.