No More Work!

Written By: Chris Mace

No More Work!
Lobster Fishing on the Taunton River, Sullivan, Maine

This lobsterman has spent a full day teaching school, but now he, his “stern-man,” and his canine friend are pulling lobster traps at dusk. I am uncertain about the “stern-man,” but he and his dog enjoy the work.

Enjoyment is one of many reasons we labor long and hard. Economic needs, advancement opportunities, retirement savings, or even a misplaced sense of self-identification and self value are other reasons we devote time and energy to our work situations.

Scripture tells us that “Night is coming when no man can work.” (John 9:4) Of course, Jesus was not speaking of retirement! Today, technology, material desires, economic needs, shift work, and a frenetic, competitive work ethic make that thought of not working physically, culturally, and prophetically obsolete. There is no break in today’s working hours.

In the 1960’s , Burt Barurach wrote and Diane Warwick sang “What’s it all about Alfie?” Reflecting on that question, the song concludes that life is about caring and loving, not about self effort. Clearly, obsession with work and its potential material “benefits” can actually distract us from experiencing the deep meaning of life.

Once a crowd following Jesus posed a question: What must we do to do the works that God requires?” Jesus answered and said unto them, The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.” (John 6:28-29) The full implication is that meaning and purpose are found in the context of God’s love expressed through Christ.

Interestingly, Jesus said that faith in him, that believing in his sacrifice for our redemption, is work. He didn’t say that faith is attained by works but that belief and trust are work. Belief involves our minds, emotions, wills and bodies and requires devotion, commitment, faithfulness, and dedication.  Such descriptive words as “repent”, “confess” “seek”, “stand firm”, “walk”, “put on the armor of God”, “examine” yourself, “test the doctrines”, “run the race”, “discipline”, “become”, bear fruit”, “bear burdens”, “abide”, “persevere”, “overcome”, “deny self”, “submit”, “forgive”, “love”, and “Go” are all Biblical terms describing the believer’s difficult faith walk. People of faith understand the cry of “I believe. Help my unbelief.”

Finishing the race, fighting the fight, and completing the course mean running the gauntlet of belief: trust, self-denial, sacrifice, love, generosity, and even doubt.

A time will come when our lives will stop being what we know them to be now. Our “work” will have been completed. At that juncture, faith will take on a whole different dimension because it will become sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) The night of “no work” will be lit with an understanding of the magnitude of God’s love— and the question of
What’s it is all about?” will be answered!

Share This