The very first phrase of the bible is “In the beginning God created”. This revelation of God as the creator is important in particular to see the message of Jesus advanced in our culture and world. You see, God is the most creative. We, like God are too create also. Because of this reality, as people who are connected to the most creative One, we are to be creative through things such as our art, our work, and our relationships with others. If you read through Genesis and Revelation, there are the same observation can be made in both contexts:
1) Before the fall work was ordained and holy
2) In both the Garden (Genesis) and The City (Revelation) there is production and creativity through work
Tim Keller has done a great job of contextualizing this truth for the church in the verse Jeremiah 29:7-
“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
When asked about advice for planting a church, he stated that the best advice he ever received before planting his church was “Don’t ask ‘How can I have a great church?’, ask ‘How can I have a great city?’ and then you will have a great church.” So as work for the glory of God, in the context of our city, and for the good of our city, then our city begins to see that our agenda is their good and God’s glory. This is a way that the gospel can advance in our culture.
The goal here is the good of our city and the glory of God. In other words, the goal is for the gospel to have a foothold in the culture so that it will transform the lives of those around us and the city will prosper. This isn’t in a health and wealth type idea, but there are principles that are in scripture that I believe if followed would work to glorify God and benefit those who follow Jesus. This is true in regards to Matthew 28, which is a reproductive passage. Matthew 28 teaches us to disciple nations, that is to teach the cultures of different people groups of how to glorify God through every part of their lives, including work.
How do you think our work can greater glorify God? How are we doing at learning the “love language” of our city? How are we doing at seeking the good of our city and how can we get better at doing that? What are the ways that we can be more creative with how we engage culture by seeking the good of our city?