We, as Christians, often divide our activities in “secular” and “sacred“. Those things we do in the world that aren’t “for the kingdom of God” we call “secular“, while those things we do that are related to the kingdom of God and Christ’s church, we call “sacred“. Are these really two different “worlds“?
Rev. David Hatton RN, is a bi-vocational pastor and labor and delivery nurse. Many would divide his life into the “sacred“…being a pastor, and the “secular“, his work as a nurse. While it is true that he “pays the bills” with his income from being a nurse, many would claim that his “true” vocation is being a pastor. He doesn’t see it that way, because he believes that EVERYTHING he does is sacred. He is performing “ministry” by helping women bring their babies into the world.
How could his work as a nurse, helping women deliver their babies and teaching them how to breast-feed, ever be considered “sacred“? That really depends on our view of the human body and how we see our calling in Christ. I am not going to develop a “doctrine of the body” in this post, because I have already addressed that topic in other posts, but I do want to look briefly how Christ has eliminated that false dichotomy through His shed blood and finished work for us.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, the Apostle Paul wrote: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
If our bodies are “the temple of the Holy Spirit“, are not our bodies “sacred“? In the Old Testament, the temple was that special place where God took up residence and revealed His glory. The temple was very definitely a “sacred place“, and only those who were “clean” were allowed to worship there. The priests had to go though certain “purification” rituals before they could perform service in the temple. We no longer go TO the temple to worship…we ARE the temple, and we can worship God at any time and in any place, including our place of employment.
Again, the Apostle Paul has written: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17) “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
These two passages are ALL-INCLUSIVE, and Paul emphasized that by saying, not just once, but twice “whatever you do“, and “do all“…in the name of, and to the glory of God. This does not leave any room for some false division.
As I sit here putting in my own words a message which God has laid on my heart from Scripture, it is easy to say that I am doing “sacred” work. How about making my coffee, or preparing my breakfast, or cooking my supper? If I do those things with “thanksgiving“, they also might be considered “sacred“. But, what if I am making a beautiful set of wind-chimes, which give music to the wind? Could that be “sacred” too? What if I take my neighbor to a doctor’s appointment, or for surgery?” “Secular“…or “sacred“? How about emptying the black-water holding-tank on my RV? Ugh…how can THAT be considered “sacred“? If WHATEVER, ALL, is included, they are all sacred activities.
When our Lord Jesus said “it is finished” from the cross (John 19:30), “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51a). The veil of the temple…the wall of separation between God and man, was removed, so that ALL may have access to God through Christ Jesus. The “secular” became “sacred“.
May we all remove this false division in our lives, and truly believe that EVERYTHING we do is sacred…a service of worship to our great King and Almighty God, to the good of His kingdom, and for His glory. This whole world IS God’s kingdom. Amen…and AMEN!