He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. [John 1:2–3]
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. [Ephesians 2:10]
As Christmastide drew to a close last week, we pause to reflect on the meaning that Christmas brings to every season of every year.
Christmas celebrates the introduction of God’s campaign to destroy sin and death. The birth of Jesus, Son of Man and Son of God, changes everything. He is at the center of the greatest story ever told and is the focal point of human history. He was in the beginning. He will be at the end. He occupies the center, and he presides over all creation.
The story of Jesus changes everything. We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Through him we discover our own roles in the story, and through us the good works of God continue. We are caught up in the story - and this this is our place.
Everything we do plays out in the context of this story of God’s conquest of sin and death. The meaning of our work is rooted n the unfolding story of God’s purpose on earth in which every square inch of creation is touched by Jesus and every moment is redeemed at the end of the age. St. Patrick captures this well in his famous prayer:
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise…
Here is our job description: “... created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Whether in business, at home, in school, or in public office, we are created to do what Jesus does: the will of the Father. The incarnation - God literally taking on flesh - places us in the salvation story, living out the history of God’s saving acts, and connecting our story and our business to the Living Center.
The purpose and beauty of our work, our words, our thoughts, and our deeds is found at the point where they intersect with the life of Jesus, the Savior who was born in a stable and heralded by angels. We want to hear him say of our work, "This is good.” Receiving such a commendation would be a fitting response to the good tidings of Jesus' arrival and the call to become who he made us to be.