How to instantly make your secular workplace sacred

[Mary] brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7 KJV)

It may surprise you to learn that the infamous “innkeeper” of the nativity is never explicitly mentioned in Scripture. But clearly, someone had to deliver the news to Mary and Joseph that there was “no room for them in the inn.”

What can we learn from this nameless hotelier? At least two things.

First, God often chooses to reveal himself to us at work. Whoever this innkeeper was, they were undoubtedly swamped that first Christmas Eve as a census brought an influx of travelers to Bethlehem (see Luke 2:1-3). You can imagine the innkeeper rushing to check people in and clean out rooms, just trying to keep his or her head above water. 

That’s when God literally showed up on the innkeeper’s doorstep. God didn’t meet the innkeeper in the temple but at their place of work, which is one of the most common places we see God showing up all throughout Scripture (see Matthew 4:18-22, Exodus 3:1-2, and 1 Samuel 16:11-12). 

You see, work isn’t a distraction from “the things of the Lord.” It’s where the Lord often meets us if we are willing to be aware of his presence. How? By setting a reminder to pray at a specific time during your workday, writing a verse near your desk, or attaching a reminder of God’s presence to a physical activity in your office (for more on this last one, listen to this clip from Skye Jethani).

Here’s the second thing the innkeeper teaches us about our work: The minute we invite Jesus inside, our secular workplace instantly becomes sacred. The innkeeper wasn’t a priest or religious professional and was probably tempted to view his or her work as “secular.” But on that first Christmas Eve, the innkeeper couldn’t have been more wrong.

Why? Because “secular” literally means “without God.” Had the innkeeper welcomed Joseph, Mary, and Jesus into their lobby, God would have quite literally been with them and that secular place of work would have instantly been made sacred the moment Mary’s belly crossed the threshold.

The same is true of you today, believer. Don’t believe for one second that your workplace is secular just because your company makes widgets instead of sermons. The same God who appeared to the innkeeper that first Christmas Eve literally dwells in you. And so, the only thing you need to do to make your secular workplace sacred is walk through the door or log on to Zoom.

With that in mind, embrace your work as exactly where God wants to be with you and working through you today!


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