This sermon is part of the sermon series "ReImagine Work". See series.
A few months ago, I came across an article in The Boston Globe about religion in the workplace. The columnist, who is one of the few Jewish people in her office, often finds herself in awkward situations. Sometimes people expect her to be the official representative of her faith or of Israel, a role she feels uncomfortable with and unqualified for. Other times she finds herself on the wrong end of an ethnic joke or a racial slur. But the thing that bothers her most is when co-workers or associates try to press their religion on her.
She describes one particular co-worker:
He's the nicest person in the world but has the unfortunate habit of using the workplace as a recruiting center. When he approached me to discuss religion, I mentioned that I was Jewish. Big mistake. His face lit up, and I came to find out that converting Jews was his personal mission.
I couldn't get up without finding a religious tract on my desk when I came back. After many attempts at conversion, I finally convinced him that I was happy with my religion and nothing he said would change it. He reluctantly moved on and now tries his hand with our clients.
She entitles her article, "Keep the faith, but keep it on your side of the cubicle."
This woman's column raises all kinds of questions for us as Christian workers. As followers of Christ, we're convinced that the gospel—the good news of Jesus—has the power to change any person's life for the better, in this life and the life to come. We genuinely care about the people we work with and for; we want them to know the peace and joy and hope that we've found in Christ; we're eager to fulfill the Lord's command to be his witnesses everywhere we go. But then along comes this fellow worker ...
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