Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday's Weekly Rap-Up - March 15, 2013

Lion’s Anthem – Sho Baraka

As Christians, we are deceived by thinking that our lives will be measured by the influence we have on culture or those around us, or by the status we obtain. Being out of college for a few years now, I have noticed that the primary subtitle we use to define ourselves is our occupation and accompanying title. As college students, your subtitle was whatever your major was, or what year you were in school. You get the point.

I confess that I get caught up in this game, feeling that my influence in our community, and within our church, is directly correlated to my occupational standing. This couldn't be further from the truth, and reflects sinful doubt about Christ's declaration of his imputed righteousness in my life. As adults, we have come to define our success and influence, even in the context of the local church, through titles. When Christ returns, none of that is going to matter. This truth should excite those of us that have a limited platform for influence and have seemingly obscure jobs.

Most of us have seemingly normal occupations that allow us to “rep in the jungle” that exists outside the confines of the local church. Just as Paul was a tent maker, we are called into occupations that, on the surface, have seemingly little connection to our commission of making disciples, and teaching them to observe what Christ has commanded of us as Christians.

This should be of no surprise, as scripture is full of examples of normal, service oriented-occupations. There were bakers and cupbearers (Genesis 40:5, Nehemiah 1:11), grinders, cooks, hunters and fishermen (Matthew 24:41, Jeremiah 16:16, Matthew 4:18). While these folks aided in food preparation, farmers (Ruth 2:3) and shepherds (Luke 2:8) secured the food stock. There were judges (Judges 2:16), military leaders (Isaiah 55:4) and civic leaders (Genesis 42:6) that made sure things ran as smooth as possible. There were carpenters (2 Samuel 5:11), scribes (Matthew 5:20), goldsmiths (Nehemiah 3:8) and silversmiths (Acts 19:24), potters (Romans 9:21), bankers (Proverbs 22:7) that made things and provided services, as well as those that organized commerce. These people held seemingly normal positions, some playing extraordinary parts in God's plan of redemption. Others are forgotten, or are mere footnotes, much like Ananias in Acts 9.

So, whatever your occupation, keep "grindin' for the Lord", so to speak. I need to remind myself of this daily. In light of that, here is Sho Baraka's Lion's Anthem, from his 2010 Lions and Liars album, reminding us that our occupations play integral roles in the plan of God's redemption. As “Lions” of this world we reflect and share the life of Christ in whatever sphere of influence that we are placed in (2 Corinthians 10:13). This song is essentially a list of different types of people with different types of jobs or careers, faithfully ministering where they are at.

Lion's Anthem lyrics on the Reach Records website

My list of occupations can be attributed to: "Occupations and Professions in the Bible" -