Tim Chester has just posted a great little post on the spirituality of washing up. At first glance it sounds silly, but if we are serious about having Christ in all areas of lives, that must include when we are up to our elbows in soapy water:
How do you know a legalist has done the washing up? They wash up most of the cutlery and crockery, but they leave the pans ‘to soak’ and they don’t wipe down the surfaces.
Why is this? Because they are not doing it out of a love for God and others. They’re doing it because they feel they ought to or because they want to be seen to be doing it. So there’s no intrinsic joy in it. As a result they do just enough to be able to say they’ve done the washing up. Most of the washing up is down, but the kitchen is not left clean. (read the whole post)
I’m not sure why, but this post by Tim seemed to line up with something Hamo posted today on whether churches should be big or small:
On Sunday we looked at the theological and biblical reasons for a church to be both large and small, as well as the practical and pragmatic reasons for preferring small or large. While you can argue quite convincingly at a pragmatic level for either option, (‘big’ or ‘small’) the exercise we did together showed quite clearly that when we consider the biblical descriptions of church the evidence for ‘small’ is much more compelling.
Perhaps the critical word in this conversation is ‘primary’. I am not suggesting there is no place at all for a larger group to get together or that a large gathering is redundant, but I am seriously advocating that we see the larger gatherings as being of secondary importance. For example, most churches I have been part of say ‘come on Sunday and if possible be part of a home group or similar’, but if you can only do one of those two then choose the Sunday event. I believe it more appropriate to say ‘make sure you are part of a smaller gathering and if you are able, join with the rest of the crew on Sunday – but if you can only choose one, then choose small. (read Hamo’s post)
Perhaps it was the last paragraph (a quote from Eugene Petersen) that tied this post in to the theology of washing up.
“You can’t do gospel work, kingdom work in an impersonal way. We live in the Trinity. Everything we do has to be in the context of the Trinity, which means personally, relationally. The minute you start doing things impersonally, functionally, mass oriented, you deny the gospel. Yet that’s all we do.”
This covers dish washing and ‘doing church’ rather nicely, I think. It also covers writing reports – which is what I should get back to doing!