The Power of "Avodah"
...present your bodies...to God,
this is your true worship."
Romans 12:1 (CSB)
"Avodah" is a Hebrew word. It appears over 400 times in the Hebrew Scriptures (including its verb form “avad”). In some places, it is translated as “work” or “service”. In other places, it will be translated as “worship”.
Avodah is God’s picture of an “integrated life” where work and worship are a seamless experience. We don’t “go” to church on a certain day and then “go” to work on another day. God intends for work to be an expression of worship. Notice how interchangeable “avodah” (i.e. work and worship) are used in the Sc riptures.
Exodus 3:12 - “When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship [avad] God on this mountain”.
Exodus 34:21, “Six days you shall work (avad).
"What a powerful image to that the word for working in the fields is the same that was used for worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob".
- The Avodah Institute
There is no greater experience of God's ultimate design for us than for His presence to be harmoniously blended into the thoughts, feelings and actions of our everyday life. The power of an integrated life resonates throughout the Scriptures. In his book, "Work Matters", Pastor Tommy Nelson ela borates, “Whether it is making bricks, crafting fine linen, or leading others in corporate praise worship, the Old Testament writers present a seamless understanding of work and worship.” We see the power of this kind of integrated life in Paul’s summary statement to the church at Rome. "I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God. This will please Him; it is the logical “Temple worship” for you." (The Complete Jewish Bible)
May each of us embark on new of learning “avodah” and erase the lines in our work that separate our work from our worship.