Worship Songs and Missional Enterprise

Three Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Overlap of Work, Worship, and Service

When was the last time you encountered a hymn or worship song that praises God for the gift of work or the way God works through our work?

It may be hard to think of one.

However, the scriptures contain many references to work, and the wisdom literature of the Old Testament (comprising the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs) is full of poetic words of praise and reflection related to our work. In his introduction to the Message paraphrase, Eugene Peterson had this to say about the content of the Wisdom books of the Old Testament:

It is fairly common among people who get interested in religion or God to get proportionately disinterested with their jobs and families, their communities and colleagues. But that is not the way God intends it. Wisdom counters this tendency by giving witness to the precious nature of human experience in all its forms, whether or not it feels or appears “spiritual.”

Several of the songs or poems contained in the book of Psalms, such as Psalm 90 and Psalm 128 address how God uses work to both bless us and make us a blessing to others.

In a recent M3 Weekly edition, we shared several movies that have a connection to missional enterprise.

This week, we share a few hymns or worship songs that reflect on the glory of God in our work and praise Him for how he accomplishes blessing and redemption in that sphere of life.

For the Fruits of His Creation

This is a traditional style hymn written in 1970 by the British Methodist hymn-writer Fred Pratt Green. The second verse is a prayer that God will use our work for His glory:

In the just reward of labor,

God’s will be done.

In the help we give our neighbor,

God’s will be done.

In our worldwide task of caring

for the hungry and despairing,

in the harvests we are sharing,

God’s will be done.

Establish the Work of our Hands

Part of the Work Songs project by The Porter’s Gate worship project, this rousing, soulful worship song is a mediation on Psalm 90.

Little is Much When God Is In It

Written by Kittie Suffield, this 1924 hymn encourages faithfulness in God’s work. The second verse (not included in the video below) specifically exhorts sharing God’s word with others in everyday life:

In the mad rush of the broad way,

In the hurry and the strife,

Tell of Jesus’ love and mercy,

Give to them the Word of Life.

If you are interested in more hymns related to a Christian view of our work, check out the list of over 100 Hymns About Work created by The Theology of Work Project.

Verse of the Week:

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:21 (ESV)

Reflecting on this verse, let’s pursue the joy of our master this week, as we work faithfully for His glory.

Share your thoughts