In the film, Bruce Almighty, there is a great scene in which Bruce (Jim Carrey) and God (Morgan Freeman) mop a floor together (“It’s a wonderful thing. No matter how filthy something gets, you can always clean it right up.”). They work in partnership, almost as if in a dance. It’s a beautiful picture of life in Christ as God intends it. Of course, from the beginning of the beginning, humankind was always intended to be in partnership with the Creator, following his lead on the dance floor of Creation. Genesis tells us that God placed the man in the garden “to work and take care of it.”
Often we think of work as a part of God’s curse upon the ground as a result of the Fall in chapter 3, as if work, in and of itself, was a bad thing. But this was not so. True, our work got harder after fellowship with God was broken, but caring for the garden and the earth were done in partnership with God from the start.
God also gave humanity the power to name things in his good creation. Verse 19 tells us that God brought all the animals and birds to the man “to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.” To name something was to have power over it. Again, God’s original intention was that we reign with him, as his representatives over creation.
When sin entered the story, this partnership was corrupted. Our ability to partner with God was distorted. No longer could we be relied upon to submit to Yahweh’s lordship and lead, or to represent him to his creation.
Once Christ has entered our story, however, our partnership with God is restored. We are then once again able to represent him to the world, to others and to all of creation. To be made whole, to be reborn in Christ and forgiven of our sin, is to be enlisted in God’s mission in the world. In him our work becomes ministry once again. In him our “secular” jobs become holy, our hours on the clock are sanctified as hours rendered in partnership with Yahweh, in service to his mission! In him, the dance floor is ours.
Restorer of all things, thank you for the partnership in mission to which you have called me and for which you have redeemed me! Forgive me when I compartmentalize my life and divide between what is sacred and what is secular. Empower me to see all of life, including my work, as a sacred dance, in partnership with you, set apart for your purposes in the world. Amen.