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Work as Duty and Sacred

One of the hardest things I ever did was travel to Zambia, Africa...to the town of Chingola and there along with 25 other European/Americans and a dozen or so Zambians, built an orphanage.  It was work without the supervision of safety under OSHA.  We used a lot of means that were not safe at all in climbing, use of tools, and equipment.  Scaffolding made out of leftover wood pieces cobbled together and used to work high.  I remember the afternoon where it all came tumbling down...no one was hurt. 


It was an adventure in working manually.  We made our own bricks out of muck, cement, and water.  They were made in the shape of bricks like we buy in the States, but laid out in the sun for a day so that they would harden into bricks to build walls with.

We worked hard...it was a duty, a job to be done.  No one complained, everyone was exhausted at the end of the day.  We slept in grass-covered huts built especially for our team.  They poured small cement pads before we arrived and we put our sleeping bags on pads over the cement...except my inflatable pad kept deflating every night. 

It was duty, a job that needed to be done and yet it was sacred.  We were building a place that orphan kids who had been left without parents through the ravaging of AIDS in their parent's generation could live.  It was already filled with kids before it was finished.  As the building went up the vision of what things would look like began to take shape.  It was beautiful because it was a labor of sacred duty.

Think about that some...muse on it.  Work is duty, it is Sacred.  Do we believe that?

The writer of 1 Chronicles makes long lists of genealogical material. To many it must appear to be enlist lists of names no one knows anything about...and frankly many probably skip over these lists as they read the Scripture. 
Yet it's clear, God knows these names...and he has kept a record of who they are and what they did.  For example,

1 Chronicles 4:21-23
The sons of Shelah son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, Laadah the father of Mareshah and the clans of the linen workers at Beth Ashbea, Jokim, the men of Cozeba, and Joash and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and Jashubi Lehem. (These records are from ancient times.) They were the potters who lived at Netaim and Gederah; they stayed there and worked for the king.

Linen workers who toiled with wool and flax to make clothing...God wrote it down.  It was duty and sacred work.  Potters who stayed in the ditches, worked with the mud, water, and made pottery for the King.  God remembered it, he wrote it down.  It was duty, it was work, and it was sacred.  The King needed pottery and they were the workers who used their skill to make the vessels the King needed.  There is no such thing as "menial work".  It is all duty, it is work, and it is sacred when it is done for the King. 

It's Monday as I write.  A host of believers have already left their homes to go to work; or gone out to the barn, or mounted the tractor or truck to do their job.  What they do in a classroom, an office, a hospital, a prison or farm will be unnoticed, anonymous, and menial to most.  Yet, on Monday - and all week long - I bless you modern day "pottery workers for the King" and remind you that our labor is both duty and sacred. 

"There is no ideal place for us to serve God except the place He sets us down.   Dwell with the King and do His work, and when He writes His chronicles, your name shall be recorded."

Peace

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