'How do you usually feel on your journey to work in the morning?' This is the first reflective question highlighted in Work Songs, an Individual or Group Bible Study Guide. As each Sunday draws to an end, the all too familiar sense of dread weighs us down heavily. Monday blues intensify with congested city roads, ill-mannered drivers and overcrowded trains as we make our way to work. Upon reaching our office we are confronted with the piling work on our desks, high expectations of superiors, opportunistic colleagues, demanding clients, office politics, temptations and long working hours. If you are able to identify with those issues, then this book is highly recommended for you, your colleagues as well as friends in the workforce.
The author of this book, Tim Chester, is renowned for many of his gospel-centred, edifying, practical and down-to-earth books such as ‘You Can Change’, ‘Everyday Church’ and ‘A Meal with Jesus’. These books have truly been a blessing to the body Christ and Work Songs echoes the similar writing style but is tailored for Bible studies and working people. It comprises six studies, 33 pages for editions without leader’s guide and 54 pages for the Leader’s Guide version. Each study covers a Psalm, that is, Psalm 8, 5, 37, 62, 34 and 65. For those who prefer searching for books through ISBN codes rather than the titles, the code for this book is ISBN 978-1-90556-467-5.
'In the Disney version of Snow White, the seven dwarfs go off to work each morning singing happily. These studies look at six psalms to sing in the workplace. For many Christians there is a gap between church on Sunday and work on Monday. These psalms will help you bridge that gap. They re-tune our hearts to the new song of God's redemption (see Psalm 40 v 3)' (Tim Chester, Work Songs, page 5).
The work life balance we seek remains an impossible dream. So you might be wondering: ‘How could I possibly sing happy songs like the dwarfs when I do not enjoy my work like they do?’ The answer lies in six songs from the Psalms which are aptly weaved into thought-provoking ice-breaker questions, in-depth theological questions, relevant application questions and prayer columns. There are also Explore More sections which are optional and are meant for those who are interested to dig deeper into the Psalms through the cross-referencing of other books of the Bible. The flexibility of this book is truly commendable as it caters for people of different Bible Knowledge levels and also considers Bible study groups with time constraints and those that have the luxury of time.
For me, I personally find that this book truly addresses the frustrations and stress of the workplace. It helps one to understand God’s purpose and perspective of work. God is a worker himself and he has designed us not to be idle but to glorify him through our work and seek guidance from his living Word. Looking at work through the lense of God in the Psalms enables us to truly praise God and sing happy work songs, not as dwarfs, but as cherished children of God saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.
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