Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Worship: God in a Shop

It’s relatively easy to worship God when we are in a beautiful building, surrounded by stained glass, religious art, and moving music. Everything we see, hear and even smell—for those in an incense-friendly liturgical church—is designed to turn our minds and hearts to God.

There is a big world out there beyond the walls of our sanctuaries, and God can seem less obviously present in it. We sometimes think of buying and selling as the antithesis of faith, but if faithful people operate a business ethically, with awareness that “All things come of you, O God,” including the business, merchant work can also be an act of honoring and praising God.

I was recently asked to perform a blessing for a business whose owner is clear that it is a gift from God, that her ability to work is a gift from God, and that the creative talents of the artisans who stock her shop are gifts from God. We prayed for God’s presence in the building, for peace and prosperity for those who work there, and that visitors will also be blessed. So we worship intentionally with our work throughout the week as well as on Sundays and holy days.

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