Human participation in God's work
“For we are God's fellow workers” (V. 9)
Today May 1st, is celebrated as May Day-International Workers Day- This day is set aside to celebrate the value and dignity of work and is an official holiday in over 80 countries. Although it was originated in the United States, for political reasons it is celebrated in September as Labor-day. The Bible has some concrete things to teach about work. Work is part of our created purpose so that we can serve God. In fact work is reflection of the God who has been working from the beginning and God has chosen men as his fellow workers in his continuing creative work. The Gospel is full of stories such as day laborers, vineyard workers, planters, fishermen, sowing the seeds and harvest. Jesus is talking and teaching about the system and structure of economic extraction, the means of productions and dignity of labor. Rick Warren, in his book The Purpose Driven Life writes "work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of his presence".
All through the Bible we see a God who is working and people working with God as his fellow workers. After the creation of Garden of Eden and putting everything in order, God entrust man with the responsibility to work and take care of it. Here God started working with man and appoint him as his fellow worker and enjoyed his fellowship. After man committed sin that fellowship was broken and God in his own initiation covered their nakedness (sin). We see a redeeming God. Then Abraham was called out giving promises and a new people was formed out of him. In the whole process Abraham was working with God and acted as His fellow worker- we see a calling out God.
When his own people were enslaved in Egypt, Moses was called out to liberate them and guide them to the promised land. In this exodus event, Moses was acting as God's fellow worker. When his own people committed sin and disobeyed, God sent Prophets, reminding them to bring them back to God - Here prophets were God's fellow workers. In the fullness of time God sent his own son to die on the cross to save the people.
We see a God who is working with people; creating, redeeming, liberating, law giving, reminding, loving, dying and saving God. The people who work with God in the whole process are called God's fellow workers. They labor with God in promoting his purpose in the salvation of His creation. They work with him and for Him. Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom of God when he started his public ministry used his disciples as his co-workers. He enjoyed the participation and active involvement of people in doing most of the miracles. In feeding the five thousand, the boy who brought the five loaves of bread and fish and the disciples who served it were Jesus' fellow workers.
Prayer: Dear God we thank you for choosing us as your fellow workers in your continuing process of establishing the kingdom of God that you started...Amen
Thought for the day: It is a great honor and privilege to become fellow workers for such an awesome mighty loving God.
P.V.Varghese, Epiphany MTC New York