When you think about worshipping God, what comes to mind? Maybe you’re at church singing hymns. Or maybe you’re at a sold out Chris Tomlin concert with twenty thousand people raising their hands. Or maybe you’re hiking in the woods or alongside Lake Michigan in awe of God’s creation. Or perhaps you’re witnessing the birth of a child. But what if I told you that what we do Monday to Friday from 9-5 is also an act of worship? In other words, what if when we thought about worship we thought about our work and our workplaces?

In Genesis 2:15 we read that “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” What’s interesting about the infinitives translated “to work” and “to take care of” is that they are used throughout the Pentateuch (i.e., the first five books of the Old Testament) for spiritual service to God. The NIV “to work” literally means “to serve” (abad) in Hebrew. As Old Testament scholar Allen Ross says, abad “describes the worship and service of the Lord, the highest privilege a person can have.”[1] Similarly, the NIV “to take care of” literally means “to keep” (shamar) in Hebrew. “Keep” (shamar) is used in the Pentateuch for keeping the commandments of God and obeying God’s Word. This leads Ross to conclude that “whatever activity the man was to engage in in the garden (and there is no reason to doubt that physical activity was involved), it was described in terms of spiritual service of the Lord.”[2]

So what’s the point of all this Hebrew talk? The point is that from the beginning Adam’s physical work was meant to be an act of worship. In other words, God’s original design for our work and our worship was intended to be a seamless way of living. Our work was to be a continuous act of worship unto Him. God never intended for our work and our worship to be separate categories in our lives. Often we think of worship as something we do on Sundays and work as something we do on Mondays. But Mondays were made for worship, too. In God’s economy there is no true Sunday to Monday gap—each day is equally made for worship (Psalm 113:3; 145:2). This includes our Monday to Friday work lives. As the great 19th century minister, Abraham Kuyper, once said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’”

So the next time we hop in the car and head to our places of work, let’s remember that we’re heading into the very places where God intends for us to worship Him. And with the Lord’s help, may our daily work be our “spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1). Because Mondays were made for worship, too.

For a cool video illustration of our “work as worship” check out this short YouTube clip:

[1] Allen Ross, Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1998), 124.

[2] Ibid.

 

Questions or Comments?  Email Pastor Drew Wicklund.