Anything but straightforward

“Those who will not work will not eat:”  There are several nuances to the seemingly harsh sentence that we miss when we reduce it to a slogan. …

…  there is the description of work itself. We use the word work to talk of things as different as brain surgery and ballet, sewage works and works of art; we number the music of the classical composers by their opus, their work order. The workhouse depicted in Dickensian novels portrays work as grinding, soul-destroying, a necessary evil to keep otherwise undesirable characters under control and certainly, those who would not work would not eat. Even animals may work: workhorses, police horses, sniffer dogs and sheep dogs, laboratory rats.

We use the word labour to describe things as polar opposite one to another as the work assigned to prisoners: hard labour, labour camps; and the work of bringing new life into the world through childbirth. …

Then there is the delicious irony of the free bread offered at the Eucharist …

 – snippets of a sermon. Which hopes to be finished by tomorrow (if its author continues to work and does not weary in the doing of it).

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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