Seeking Christian authenticity in our work

Jordan J. Ballor

Marta L.
July 14, 2013

I've always found the sabbath commandment very interesting because it requires us to work six days and ties this to the memory of God's creation of the world. We pay so much attention to the need to rest (and that's certainly important, too) but it's very easy to forget: the Bible also commands us to work. I've always read this as a combination of the Bible promising us good work, and at the same time commanding the rest of us to make good work available to others. It's a commandment to work for meaningful work for all people - this is what a just society means under the Christian ethics, I think.

All f which underscores your point, at least the way I understand it. Work is a blessing, but it needs to be the right kind of work: a chance to continue the process of perfecting creation.

Jordan Ballor
July 15, 2013

Thanks for those thoughts, Marta. "Perfecting" creation might be a bit strong, considering the limitations of the not-yet-consummated world order. But certainly at least "developing" creation, even if not in a univocally positive fashion.

As for the Sabbath, you are right to highlight its importance. It strikes me as interesting that God 'rests' on the seventh day after creating humanity to work, to cultivate the world, on the sixth. There are some significant implications for human stewardship and the meaning of work here, as well as for the limits of work given in the mandate for Sabbath rest.

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