Ordering the World in Love

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This weekend being Labor Day weekend, we will be focusing this Sunday on the role of work in the life of faith. Generally speaking, the church has done a good job at equipping Christians for the private, spiritual parts of their lives, and a poor job at equipping people for the public, vocational parts of their lives. We’d like to address that problem this Sunday and talk about how we can follow Jesus faithfully in our every day vocations, whether we are in an office or a school, a factory or the home.

Justin Earley will be our preacher this Sunday. Justin and his wife Lauren are former cross-cultural missionaries with Campus Crusade for Christ, and they moved to Richmond and joined Third a couple years ago. Justin is an attorney at McGuire Woods. We have asked Justin to preach because we wanted to learn about the integration of faith and work from someone who is working every day in the secular workplace and has struggled to know how to do it in a way that reflects God’s Kingdom.

In preparation for this Sunday, reflect on the passages in the next column that Justin will be focusing on this Sunday and what they tell us about work. Pray about your own every day work and how you might more deeply integrate your faith with what you do Monday-Friday. 

Our weekly worship guide can be downloaded here.

GENESIS 1:1, 27, 31

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.


19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.

What do the above passages tell us about God’s good design for work?


17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.

What does the above verse tell us about the ways that our work is broken by sin?


 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

What do these verses above suggest about how God is redeeming our work through Christ?


2  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

What do these verses above suggest about the future of work?

Due to our guest preacher this week, we will not be providing a Reflection Guide. We'll pick them up again next week with our new sermon series!