Since November 2001 I have been writing a piece of prose with the sole aim of helping you as you jog, walk, or crawl along your career path. The idea is simple – as you walk to and through work, walk with the wisdom of Jesus of Nazareth. The idea is also personal – don’t just walk with his wisdom but with him.
And nothing has changed in the message. Since 2001 we have seen markets go up to highs and crash, towers fall and presidents rise. The world continues to be at war with itself, the climate and its conscience. Meanwhile, if you get fifty emails a day, in three hundred weeks you will have received at least seventy five thousand and worked around twelve thousand hours or more. Who knows how many tasks you have completed? WORKTALKweekly now goes to thousands each week.
And nothing has changed in the message. It is still all about learning to walk with Jesus of Nazareth. Joining His team was the wildest ride any of the first century inhabitants had ever experienced. You got invited to step out of a boat onto water – and you still do – constantly being challenged to go outside of the safety of a no-risk strategy. You got invited to feed crowds – you still do – being asked to dispense good soul food to far more people than you can really manage. You got asked to fill water jars when wine had run out – still do – as you consider praying and reading an ancient book in the face of a financial crisis.
And today they put signs on buses saying “Probably no God”, whilst celebrating with strange reverence a man who proposed we evolved from an ape – yet our message and method remain the same: walking with Jesus of Nazareth.
For nobody becomes a Christian by disbelieving a bus or believing in Adam and Eve; it is through a life changing encounter with the phenomenon of the Nazarene.
Following Him is totally rational yet makes no sense at all. Each day you are invited to follow a person who clearly believed himself to be immortal, yet chose dying as His primary method of achieving His goals. With no hint of irony He shows Himself to you as simultaneously human and the ultimate expression of the Divine. Not surprisingly, He then proceeds to show you how to be the best expression of your humanity at work while staying conscious of your connection to the Father in the storm of the marketplace.
And right at the eye of the storm stands a Cross – the workshop of the wonder worker where all the paradoxes converge as the Carpenter literally shows his hand. This was the piece of work he was always preparing, the meeting He was rehearsing the conference with the Father and Spirit where the new contract would be finalised.
And for three hundred weeks, subconsciously then deliberately, this regular piece has been trying to help you see the crucicentric nature of your life. When you write your report, build your team, play your part or file your data today, never forget that six hours of work, seventy two thousand days ago, changed everything so that you can walk with Him now.
And don’t expect it to make perfect sense. Perfect is only possible in fiction. You and I are now invited to go after him, abandoning self-interest to the garbage dump and taking up a cross daily. Does that make sense? A cross is a place where you die – not live, where you end – not start again, it is a place of execution. Yet he wants you to take a cross today and then again tomorrow and every day to work with you.
If you’re up for it, let’s go after him some more and see what that means, starting week 301.
22 I saw that there was nothing better than that a person enjoy their work
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross
46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
4 Hear this, you who trample the needy
and do away with the poor of the land,
“When will the New Moon be over
that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
that we may market wheat?”—
skimping the measure,
boosting the price
and cheating with dishonest scales,
6 buying the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
selling even the sweepings with the wheat. 7 The LORD has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done.
9 Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
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