Devotional Series: Work in Light of Christmas

A mother feeding a child in a highchair

The Value of Ordinary Work

The example of Mary and Joseph reminds us of how much God values what we do. So, as you teach a class or lead a meeting or make a cabinet or write a song or design a new product, do your work in honor of God. As you make lunches for your children or drive them to school or help them with their biology homework or teach them to make good choices in their lives, know that God is with you and is pleased as you do your ordinary work for God’s purposes and glory. 

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Long rows of people sitting at computers

Returning to Work in Light of Christmas

As we head back to work after the holidays, will the reality of Christmas make a difference? What if we did our work with a new awareness of God’s presence? What if we set apart a few moments in our day to offer thanks to God and commit our work to God? The celebration of Christmas may be over, but the reality of Christmas continues, touching everything in life, including our work.

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A bunch of angel ornaments hanging on a rack

Your Work and Peace on Earth

We love the good news shared with the shepherds by the angels: “Peace on Earth.” Yes, this peace includes the absence of conflict and inner tranquility. But God’s peace entails so much more. It is life as God intended it to be, life infused by harmony, justice, fruitfulness, and love. We have the opportunity to bring this peace to every sector of life, including our workplaces.

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Linda Roberts' nativity scene

Don’t Let Your Achievement in Work Define Your Identity

The Christmas story underscores the fact that God values those who respond to God’s grace with faith and obedience. God is looking, not for those who are great in achievement, but for those who are great in openness to God and God’s will. Thus, we would do well to define our identity, not in terms of professional success, but rather in terms of faithfulness to God.

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A shepherd on a hillside with a flock of sheep

God Interrupts Our Work Once Again

In Luke’s Christmas story God interrupts people as they work. God interrupted Zechariah while he was working in the temple and the shepherds as they were working in the fields. We need to be ready for God to interrupt us as we work, leading us into some unexpected opportunity for serving others. Yet, at the same time, we need to be attentive to God’s presence as we work, offering our work as worship to God. 

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A mother and father leading a toddler along a beach

Work and Children

Women work hard in Luke’s Christmas narrative. Both Elizabeth and Mary carry their babies and give birth to them. But birth is just the beginning of the work of raising children, work that belongs to both women and men. The Christmas story reminds us of how central this work is to our lives, not only with our own children, but also with the children in our neighborhoods, schools, and churches.

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A person serving a tray of food

From Salvation to Service

In Luke’s Christmas story, Zechariah celebrates the birth of his son by extolling God’s work of salvation. But salvation isn’t an end in and of itself. Rather, God saves people in order that they might serve God in holiness and righteousness. We respond to God’s gracious salvation by serving God, not just in our religious activities, but in every part of life, including our daily work. We have been saved to serve.

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charcuterie board

Celebrating God’s Amazing Work

In the first chapter of Luke, Mary celebrates the amazing work of God, including her own experience of God’s miraculous power. Her example encourages us to recognize and celebrate God the worker. 

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A row of roasted coffee beans, with one surprising unroasted coffee bean in the middle

Sometimes God Interrupts Our Work

Scripture teaches us to value our work because it matters to God. In fact, we can truly worship God through offering our daily work to God. But sometimes God interrupts our work. That happened to a priest named Zechariah. While he was engaging in his priestly duty in the temple, an angel from God interrupted him with incredible news. His story encourages us to be open to ways God might interrupt us as we work. 

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Kara Roberts and her friend Emily as children, dressed up as Christmas sheep

What Does Christmas Have to Do with Work?

For many of us – but not all of us – Christmas is a time to get a break from work. Yet there is much in the biblical narrative of the birth of Jesus that makes connections between work and Christmas. For example, were it not for Luke’s hard work, we wouldn’t have the beloved Christmas story found in the Gospel that bears Luke’s name. 

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