Changing Diapers as an Act of Worship?

WAIT! Maybe diapers aren’t a part of your life, but what if I replaced diapers with expense reports or conference calls or consulting with a client as an act of worship? The list could go on. How do we worship within acts such as these? If we were made to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, where does this leave us when our days are defined by the mundane, the tedious, or the seemingly inconsequential? I’m going to borrow words from someone who says it better than me. In "A Liturgy for Changing Diapers 1", from Every Moment Holy, Douglas McKelvey writes: “So take this unremarkable act of necessary service, O Christ, and in your economy let it be multiplied in that greater outworking of worship and of faith, a true investment in the incremental advance of your kingdom across generations.” This feels like a very fancy take on the simple act of diaper changing—unremarkable yet necessary (this much is true), but can we really call it an advance of His kingdom across generations? The answer really is yes.

Our culture tells us that the tedious acts of daily life are something to trudge through until we can get to more exciting things. Our culture tells us that something only has worth if it benefits us. Fortunately, we have a Savior who showed us another way. He lived his life in worship of the Father all day every day. Jesus was constantly pulled in a hundred directions; he dealt with even grosser things than diapers (hello leprosy); he had to play referee over silly arguments (sound familiar, parents?) Jesus graciously did all of this and more out of his deep love for us and for the desire to draw us nearer to God the Father—to live out our call to worship Him every day. He showed us that when our hearts are postured in obedience to God and love toward others then even the most mundane, tedious, and inconsequential acts are serving a greater purpose—the advancement of His kingdom. The dirty diapers, the endless expense reports and spread sheets, the difficult coworkers, or clients—every act of drudgery is an opportunity to glorify God. We are made to work, and how we accomplish that work matters—it matters to my daughters, and it matters to God. To sum it up I’ll close with more words from McKelvey…
“Let me not be frustrated by the constant repetition of this necessary act on behalf of a child. Rather, let the daily doing of this be a reminder to me, of the constant cleansing and covering of my own sin, that I—helpless as this babe and more often in need—enjoy in the active mercies of Christ. Amen”
Meredith Harwood