504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
Two of my favorite things

Monday, September 5, 2011

On Undercover Bosses and Incarnation

I am spending my Labor Day in an amazingly unscripted way.  I have several PhD proposals that I had to (and did) read.  I need to spend some time finishing/rewriting a book that will come out later this fall (stay tuned for title and details). The weather has been perfect (tropical storm moved on smile on my Mom's house in Cumming, Ga.) and so I have had a great day. 

I took a break for a sandwich and watched an episode of Undercover Boss, a CBS show which is thought-provoking to say the least. The idea is that the Presidents and CEOs of companies leave the executive floor and work in disguise as a low-level employee in their company.  The show has provoked comparisons in a social class divide kind of way to former English prime minister Benjamin Disraeli and his 1845 novel, Sybil. Arianna Huffington in her online blog made some brilliant observations about the state of the working class, both in 1845 and now.

My interest in the show was not so much about the elite executive vs. the worker bee.  It was more in terms what it would be like if Jesus worked along side of us.  Don't get me wrong. I am not interested in the self-serving inquiry of Joan Osborne's One of Us.  In other words, I was curious about how we would be in the presence of Jesus, sort of a modern day In His Steps.  Not "how would I act if I knew Jesus was working beside me?" but "how do I work?"

The heroes in Undercover Boss are the ones that the boss discovers are extraordinary--like the casino employee who leaves work every Monday to take flowers to the nursing home.  If I understand the biblical concept of Incarnation, it is not so much that Jesus came to the earth to change the earth (that is what the disciples thought).  He came to earth to be with us.  With us while we do the mundane job. With us while we decide to take shortcuts or when we argue with our spouses. 

I have learned a lot about what God must feel as Father as I have had challenging times as a father.  I have learned that being a father is about love, not about someone living up to your expectations.  If Jesus came into my work world as a peer, I pray that He would come back for the "reveal" of who He really is and say, "Allen worked as if I was with Him because I am in him." 

I pray for each person reading this that you will pause and worship the One who left not the executive floor, but the heavens so that we could be changed, that we would be the new creatures of 2 Corinthians 5:17.  He allows us to be workers, leaders, followers, husbands, wives, children who are different because He has changed us.  He has redeemed us and placed His Spirit in us.

I think I will work with a different attitude tomorrow after my Labor Day rest.  I pray you do as well.