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Lyndon Drake: Work and Flourishing

 

 

The writer Oscar Wilde once said, "work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do." Many New Zealanders buy a lottery ticket each week, hoping to win a lifetime supply of "nothing better to do." I sympathise: I've often found work frustrating.

But I also love the Bible's story, that starts with God working. We are in the image of God; to flourish, we need to work in the home, or as volunteers, or in paid employment. Jesus showed us this image of God in his work as a carpenter.

I want other people to find the dignity and purpose this story has given me, and so I support policies which help people find work not just to escape poverty, but so they flourish as human beings.

We see that flourishing best when Christians work towards Jesus' kingdom in society: as Martin Luther once put it, Christians are God's hands and feet in the world.

As people find work we can tell them how this story explains both their desire to work and work's frustration. We can share how their work can be transformed by Jesus. And we can help friends find a new identity in God's story: a story that began with work in the garden, and ends with the work of human hands being brought into the city of God.