Best read of the week: God in the office

God is dead. So is the office.

I read this headline in the New York Times and cried, “The Office is dead!?”

See, I’m watching the TV show “The Office” for the first time (like 10 years late) and even though I know the last season wrapped long before I got to this piece of must-watch American culture, the thought of not having Pam, Jim, Dwight, Kelly, Stanley, and even that asshole Michael—oh, it was too much. Then I actually read the end of the headline: “These people are trying to save both.”

So there’s hope?

This NY Times article is not about “The Office” on Netflix but rather The Office in corporate America, which is now, confusingly, based largely on our computers in our homes.

Even before the pandemic drove us to work remotely, the article says, office workers wanted meaning and ritual in their places of work. Now, as we’ve lost even the regularity of putting on pressed clothes and commuting, we seek meaning in the workplace more than ever.

Desk, plant, cement wall that says: Punch today in the face
I would totally work in an office with this written on the wall. Photo by Johnson Wang/Unsplash

A raft of divinity school trained advisors is helping the scattered flock of white collar workers to add practices to daily tasks: honoring moments of silence to open Zoom meetings, for example. Or holding funeral rites for failed projects.

(And I’m trying to be open minded and respectful but that printer scene from Office Space will not stay out of my brain.)

It’s a great article. You should read it, especially if you’ve worked in an office at least a day in your life. You must take in the beautific parody of an illustration. And I have some thoughts on God and the office, on worship and work, which I’ll share in the next post.

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