Doing God’s Work: “…the church of Jesus Christ needs to be like a beehive.’ – A. Kuyper

Larvae of bees in the combs illustration .

Are working and believing contradictory? Is not working something to be celebrated by Christians? Is doing nothing honorable for them? Will idleness be their crown of glory?

If not, what does it mean to be working? Isn’t it simply an expression of life? Doesn’t it indicate that they are alive? That they are living, breathing people?

Someone who’s dead doesn’t work. People don’t work during the night. Someone who is stretched out unconscious isn’t working. But the voice of the Great Shepherd calls to whomever has any life in them at all. He appeals to all for whom the light shines, to every individual who knows that they exist, who is living, and who is standing before the face of God. He says: ‘Work while it is still day, for the night is coming in which no one can work!’

No, it’s not working that we need to avoid, but working for selfish reasons. We’re not like ants that gather in order to enjoy what they’ve gathered. We’re not even less like spiders that store up in order to produce a toxin. But we work like the honeybee that produces honey in the hive not for itself but for the the beekeeper who sells it.

Well then, the church of Jesus Christ needs to be like a beehive. There everyone strives to contribute their very best. They use their gifts without letup in order to pour our the purest honey from the honeycomb. They do this not to consume that precious, virgin honey themselves, but to offer it in honor of him to whom the entire church belongs.

Taken from the new translation by James A. De Jong of Abraham Kuyper’s Honey from the Rock (Lexham Press, 2018), pp.237-238.

This particular meditation (#74 of Volume 1) is titled “Doing God’s Work” and is based on John 6:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” I plan to return to this meditation again, because Kuyper has some good thoughts on the relation between believing and working that are worth our time and consideration.