This sermon is part of the sermon series "ReImagine Work". See series.
One of the most talked-about shows on television today is called, The Office. The Office gives us a glimpse into the cubicles and consciousness of a dozen or so employees of Dunder-Mifflin, a fictional paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The show has an edgy feel to it, and has been called, a mockumentary;—part sitcom, part exposé. At times the characters will actually look into the camera and share their thoughts and feelings about their job or their co-workers.
The Office explores and exposes the realities of today's corporate environment—office politics, downsizing, inefficiency, sexual harassment, lame team-building exercises, office romances, and turf wars, etc. It's not an easy show to watch. It's awkward, embarrassing, infuriating, and occasionally inappropriate. I'm not recommending the show, but it tells us something about how people feel about their working lives.
Work is …
You don't have to work in an office to recognize the characters and issues we meet on the show. We all know what it's like to have an incompetent, demeaning boss, or to work next to someone who makes weird noises and locks up their phone so no one can use it. We all know what it's like to jockey for position, to face impossible deadlines, to sit through boring meetings, and to deal with difficult people. We all, at times, have been bored or stressed out by our work, and have wondered what in the world we're doing there.
I've only seen a handful of episodes of The Office, but enough to catch the existential drift of the series, which is that for many people today, work is absurd. It requires them to spend hours every day in a place they don't want to be, with people they don't really like, doing a job they ...
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