It was Luther who pressed upon the church the idea that all legitimate callings are holy. No more should this earthly realm be divided between those who serve the sacred and those who serve the secular. Instead, he recognized that all labor is sacred, and so turned the world upside down. It was Abraham Kuyper, however, who lived this doctrine to its fullest.
Over the years, in our annual biography issues, we have looked at many theologians. We even devoted an issue to the life and work of J.S. Bach, whose music adorns our worship. This year, however, we look at a man for all seasons, a man who labored faithfully to bring all things under subjection to Christ. Kuyper understood, in a way that Rome at the time of the Reformation forgot, that Jesus is Lord over all things, that all authority in heaven and earth has been given unto Him.
Kuyper not only affirmed this but lived it. Whether it was in the realm of education, journalism, or politics, everywhere he went he sought to make manifest the reign of the King. Kuyper’s theology took on flesh like that of few before or since.
That touches on why we do a biographical issue of Tabletalk each year. We will have failed if all we do in these issues is give you an addition to your body of knowledge of church history. We do these issues not just to inform, but to inspire. Our prayer, as you read these biographical issues, and especially as you read this one, is that you will act on the Reformation truth that we live all our lives coram Deo, before the face of God. All that we do, whether we teach church history or turn dirt, seeds, and sunshine into food, must be done to the glory of God.
This is not a mental trick we play on ourselves when our work seems boring or fruitless. We are called to do our work as unto the Lord because we are doing our work unto the Lord. He is our Master and our King. He rules over all that we are and all that we do. The reign of Christ will not be known to the world around us until we show forth the wisdom of Kuyper, who said, “There is not a square inch of the universe over which King Jesus does not claim, ‘Mine.’ ” May we learn to see ourselves and our labors as His, to the glory of God and for the building of His kingdom.