This coming weekend is Easter, the time of the year when Christians across the world remember the death of Jesus and celebrate his resurrection. I have been thinking about Easter for a number of weeks, reflecting on what it means for me personally, my family, our church, and our city.
Last week we began a discussion on work. Given that we are heading for Easter, I think it is appropriate to ask the question: what does Easter teach us about work? In other words: what can we learn from Easter about building Dar through our work? To begin with, I observe that for many of us Easter is a time of rest. We make use of the long weekend to travel out of town or quietly stay at home. This allows us to get some rest following the busy first months of the year. I am a great supporter of taking time away from work. In fact, I recently had an opportunity to take a short break from work during our school holiday. It was good to refresh and spend some quality time with my family.
However, it is important to realise that Easter reminds us of the most significant work that God the Father and his Son Jesus did for mankind. It is during Easter that we remember Jesus’ work of dying on a cross so that the sins of mankind could be forgiven. According to the Bible, sin, which is our rebellion against God, deserves spiritual death (Romans 6:23). Only the death of Jesus could pay the price required to save us from this punishment. John 19:30 records that Jesus’ last words on the cross before he died were, ‘It is finished’. Through his death, Jesus finished the work of paying for our sins. Easter is also the time when we remember God the Father’s work of raising Jesus from the dead. Most certainly, without the resurrection of Jesus the Christian faith is meaningless.
As we consider Easter, we can learn a number of lessons about work. First, we learn that work focuses on others. Jesus died for us and the Father raised him for us. Second, we see that work requires sacrifice. The Father gave his Son and the Son gave his life. Both were acts of ultimate sacrifice. Third, work should make things better than they currently are. Jesus’ death and resurrection made it possible for the broken relationship between God and man to be restored. This gives hope in a world that is full of confusion, pain and despair. Fourth, work leads to a reward. Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of his Father, having been given a name above every name by his Father.
I admit that our work in Dar will not be of the magnitude of what God the Father and his Son Jesus did. After all, we are only human. Nevertheless, because we are created in God’s image as we discussed last week, our work should follow the pattern of his work. It should focus on others, be marked by sacrifice, make things better, and result in a reward for us. Does our work have these characteristics? If not, perhaps now is the time for change.
I hope you will have some time to rest during Easter. As you do, please take time to reflect on the true meaning of Easter, and also on what it teaches us about work.