Bible and Work: 4

''Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares in the UN...
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Our last session focused on considering what God’s intentions for human work were and how that has changed as a result of human sin. We were thinking about what might have been. This week we are going to consider what might be. Instead of thinking about the ancient past we will be thinking about God’s intended future.

Kingdom life: relaxing after the harvest or continuing to work?

Sometimes when people think about life in the kingdom of God, they envision a life of leisure in the presence of God. Some think life in the kingdom will be eternal attendance in the best worship service ever. For some these conceptions of heaven are anxiety provoking. They can’t imagine life, particularly eternal life, without something to “do”. When you think about life in the kingdom of God, what images and ideas come to mind? The prophets of ancient Israel spoke about what life would be like when God’s kingdom was realized. John of Patmos writes about it also.

Read the following passages and see what they suggest about life and work in the world to come. Please note these passages don’t explicitly tell us details about work and life in the Kingdom of God but they offer some clues and hints in their descriptions. (There is a lot to think and talk about in these passages, but try to keep your focus on our focus – work.)

Isaiah 60

Isaiah 65: 17-25

Micah 4:1-4

Revelation 21:1-22:5

What types of work or commerce are mentioned?

In what ways do people spend their time?

What is not present in the Kingdom?

What are people not doing with their time?

Can this vision of life in the Kingdom of God shape the way we live and work in the world today?

If so, in what ways? If not, why not?

What are the implications of this view of the Kingdom of God for your work?

******* *

Isaiah and Micah were speaking to people in Israel about life after the Exile, but Biblical texts can have more than one meaning and so Christians have often interpreted this passages to be speaking about the coming reign of God.


Cross posted at Conversation in Faith.


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