This past week, I did some much-overdue work in my backyard. I had made the unfortunate mistake of putting off some pruning and dealing with some poison ivy that continually battles against the forces of good in my yard. As the sun was bearing down on me and I was hacking away at overgrown bushes, I thought to myself:
It’s not supposed to be this way.
Work and Worship
I am always struck by Adam’s calling to work and keep the land that God created. But what is particularly interesting is that this command in Genesis 2:15 is before the Fall. So even before sin entered the created world, Adam was working the land, tending to creation and enjoying each moment of work. After the Fall—when sin entered the Created world—you could say that things began to fight back against the once enjoyable task of work, making work difficult, painful, and exhausting (Gen. 3:17-19). I couldn’t help but envy Adam’s enjoyable work as my battle raged against my fallen backyard.
I like to picture Adam’s pre-Fall work in the Garden as the purest expression of worship man can offer. As he sinks his hands into the perfect Creation, he touches the work of God that has not been ravaged by sin and he interacts with the world in the way God intended. In doing so, his work not only compels him to worship, it is his worship.
There will be a Day when we will worship as Adam once did when our Creator and Redeemer restores all things back to the way they were intended to be. Our existence will be defined by our worship of Christ and His glorious resurrection and restoration. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” A seminary professor of mine, Jeff Barker, once noted the interesting fact that the Story begins in a Garden, but it ends in a City. And in this City, there will be perfect peace: “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servant will worship him” (Rev. 22:3).
In light of the most recent news cycle, we must pray even more fervently, “Come Lord Jesus.” We cling to the promise that one Day, all things will be made right again:
And they shall beat their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore (Is. 2:4).
What a perfect existence of worship that shall be. The toils, struggles, and strivings of Today will be resurrected into the praises, songs, and joyful shouts of Tomorrow.