ALL LABOUR IS HOLY
"What do you do as a Christian"? an evangelist asked a fellow traveller in the train.
"I bake", said the man.
"Yes", said the evangelist, "that is your profession; but what do you do as a Christian"?
Refusing all openings to admit that, as a Christian, he taught in the Sunday School or preached at the street corner or distributed tracts, the man persisted in the sufficiency of the reply – that he baked.
He was right.
Such is the centrality of the Incarnation faith. Teaching, preaching, works of mercy are the periphery: essential, but periphery. The carpenter, the fisherman, the agriculturalist – or, if you will, the miner, the ironworker and the aeroplane craftsman – are God’s final revelation of His purpose in creation, in the Lord Jesus Christ of the carpenter’s shop at Nazareth, of the fishing fleet at Galilee, and of the home at Bethany. It is the truth of that which it is the Christian mission to declare till all labour is holy and every home His temple.
Yet, in the paradox, so to salt the daily round and the common task we must be separate. Unless in our ‘involvement’ we be separate, homes become adulterated, farm land becomes exploited, and aeroplanes mount guns: all of which is happening before our eyes.
George MacLeod, the Iona Community