Tuesday, Second Week of Epiphany January 19

Text: Isaiah 44:9-20

Worship of Work

From the very first chapter of Genesis the Bible instructs us that there is value and importance in work by providing the example of God’s creation of the universe. In addition to many positive examples given of work in the Bible, there are also some grave warnings about what can happen in the absence of work. Everyone has probably heard that idle hands are the devil’s workshop and idle lips are his mouthpiece (Proverbs 16:27, Living Bible translation). Today’s passage that, in the minds of some people, work might end up as a form of idolatry needs some context then. Just as the Bible gives emphasis to God’s work of creation by placing it in the very first chapter, God signals that the issue of idolatry is significant by making it the first topic of the Ten Commandments.

As is often the case when it comes to the Commandments, my failure to hold to them is not simply a matter of willfully violating the fundamental meaning of the words that are written. Upon reflection I find in many cases I have not been thoughtful and purposeful about the subtler meanings found in each. I suspect other disciples have this same experience! It has been an easy habit for me to compartmentalize Sunday as God’s day and the other six days of the week to the earthly matter of making a living. But that is not what a disciple of Jesus is meant to do. Jesus’ disciples are meant to recognize His role in our lives every day. And that includes the work we do or the career that we have. While today’s reading is not the first that instructs me about the futility of relying on myself only, I believe perhaps the Holy Spirit has been at work growing this idea within me and focusing me more on it recently.

The separation of our Creator from the creation of our hands is a problem with predictable outcomes. Verse 11 states that terror and infamy will come to those who worship what they create and verse 18 continues that: They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot think. I encourage each of us to thoughtfully reflect on the role that Jesus plays in the work that we do and prayerfully consider how His partnership can grow in our work lives.

~ Kent Silvernail,

Lay Minister of Stewardship


Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

824 N. Buchanan Blvd. 

Durham, NC 27701

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824 North Buchanan Blvd, Durham, NC 27701 | 919-682-6030  |

Mission Statement: We are called to Welcome Everyone to Walk the Way of GRACE, and walk in that way in our individual lives, in our shared life in our various communities, in our common life with our neighbors, and even to the world at large as God sends us. The Way of Grace is to: GROW with Jesus, REJOICE in God, ANSWER with hope, CARE for the neighbor, and EMBRACE community.

Vision Statement: God has a plan FOR OUR LIVES, and so we teach how to walk in the path of Jesus Christ; FOR OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, and so we work to build healthy and strong communities; FOR OUR CITY, and so we share life with our neighbors in Walltown, Trinity Park, Duke, and the Triangle; and FOR OUR WORLD, and so we go with Good News.

Core Values: Because God loves us first, we value worship rooted in Scripture and Sacraments, service to all people, and being a welcoming community that loves and forgives one another.