The Finished work Underneath our ‘Unfinish-able.’
The Global Pandemic has not only compelled churches to go online, it’s now forcing our message out of where it’s most needed, or it seems.
As remote work grows, offices can be found everywhere, during dinner, in-between kid-play sessions on the carpet, on family trips, why? Zoom meetings have no boundaries, so do email notifications. The machine continues to eat, us.
And what’s happening.
More and more white-collar jobs are becoming intrusive to family and church life. Some “corporate” performers are ailing at home, profound in the boardroom, they are weak where life tends to interrogate hardest – at church and at home.
You see us strolling in three piece-suits, but an invisible noose holds our neck tighter than the necktie. Our high-heels hammer through the head-office corridor, but nothing spiritually sound holds us up, when the boss criticizes our report.
We are doing badly than we would like to admit. Last month’s motivational speaker told us a lot about “being ourselves”, but he hardly mentioned the best substitute for our corrupted nature – a new heart guided by the Spirit. Neither did he point us to the one who completed the work his Father gave him.
The speaker said lots about productivity but little about what empowers and motivates it, let alone, the healthy ways to respond when our to-do lists come tumbling like a house of cards.
Here’s the replenishing good news we need. Before the Ephesian believers are told to “walk in the good works” God prepared for them in advance (Ephesians 2:10) they have been told, two verses before, that salvation is by grace alone, through faith, not by works (Ephesians 2:8) And as if Paul understands the temptation of the accomplished, he quickly adds a disclaimer- “and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”
So none may be proud of their productivity tricks, so that none may flaunt their CV, so that those with the Spirit of God operating in new hearts may despair of their self-sufficiency and let everlasting arms hold them up.
The Prophetic in Isaiah’s day speaks into the prevailing human weariness and invites all to “come and drink, eat, …without a price, without pay.” (Is 55:1) Jesus would later fulfill it all by calling himself the living water. From whom we get the capacity to never thirst again, let alone obtain a fountain of our own, welling up to eternal life. (John 4:14)
God knows, the finished work of his Son is designed not only to empower, but secure, our fragile human outputs. His accomplishment was ‘once and for all’ (Rom 6:10), yet ours are ongoing.
In fact, like Jordan Raynor, Author of “Called to Create” argues, we all, unlike Jesus, will die and leave unfinished symphonies anyway. Yet Jesus didn’t. He said “it’s finished.” (Johnn 19:28)
In other words, plan to often engage, as well as detach from your work, reminding yourself that the most important work has been accomplished, and because of it, we can now freely work, not for our security and identity, but because of them.
Eddie Ssemakula is an impassioned Ugandan blogger and digital journalist working and living in Kampala, Uganda. He is curious about Apologetics and the intersection of Christian discipleship with post-modern African culture. Eddie serves as a deacon at Sojourn Church Uganda and blogs on faith and worldview at muleefu. He is married to Rhionah and they have two daughters: Mercedes and Kara.