I fell in love with The Office years ago when I was speaking on a High School retreat in Oklahoma. I would go back to my cabin after the evening service and watch episodes back to back that I had downloaded from Itunes. It was like finding a brand new best friend. A very funny new friend.
A couple of weeks ago I watched the final episode which I thought was about as good as a finale can get. Instead of making brand new friends it felt as if I was losing some old friends. I had my heart tugged more than a few times and I have to admit I shed some tears.
What I want to draw your attention to though is the last line of the show, which is spoken by Pam as everyone is leaving the office following Dwight's wedding, many leaving the building for the last time.
" I thought it was weird when you picked us to make a documentary, but all in all I think an ordinary paper company like Dunder Mifflin was a great subject for a documentary. There is a lot of beauty in ordinary things, isn't that kind of the point."
What a beautiful line. What great theology. A theology of place, a theology of the ordinary, a theology of work and how God has made ordinary places, ordinary people, ordinary work and ordinary life to be filled with beauty, holiness and sacredness.
So often people have a sacred and secular division of everything in their life. Church on Sunday equals sacred, work Monday to Friday secular. Devotions equal sacred, changing diapers or cleaning the garage equals secular. Working full-time in ministry sacred, having any other job secular. It is an unholy dichotomy. One I held for a long time. This is not the view of The Bible and it is not Jesus's view. All things are spiritual and filled with God's glory and for God's glory. That view changes everything.
The Office nailed it. It captured the sacred in the ordinary. I know it was unintentional but they stumbled across God's common grace and His purposes. The Office could teach the church and Christians a thing or too. To see the sacred all around us, to experience God not just in the sanctuary but also at the copier. I know I'm not saying anything new but the line from the show was poignant. It was powerful. What if you went to work each day and realized how holy that time really is? Would it change things for you? Would you see the people that you work with and the time you have been given there differently?
Tim Keller in his book Every Good Endeavor which is about work writes,
“Everyone will be forgotten, nothing we do will make any difference, and all good endeavours, even the best, will come to naught. Unless there is God. If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavour, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God's calling, can matter forever. All work has dignity because it reflects God’s image in us, and also because the material creation we are called to care for is good."
So thanks Dwight, Michael, Pam, Andy, Jim and the rest of the gang for a great reminder! Goodbye, you will be missed.