The Christian Vocation

A Christian cobbler makes good shoes, not poor shoes with little crosses on them.

–Martin Luther

Yesterday was Labor Day, the day devoted to the celebration of workers and those who work.  Within the church, we, too, celebrate work–the work God calls us to do.  We call this work our “vocation.”  Now, sometimes when we speak of vocation, we only mean vocation within the church–pastor, youth pastor, Sunday School teacher.  That’s unfortunate, because clergy and church workers aren’t the only ones with a call from God!

Humans don’t do well alone–even in the Garden of Eden, Adam needed company.  Community is a gift from God, not just church communities but the larger world as well.  And every community has a wide variety of things that must be done to keep it functioning.  Performing these tasks is a service to the community.  Now, obviously, no community is perfect; all people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, so we should be thoughtful and prayerful about how we serve the community.   In church, we are renewed in our faith and built up in Christ and in the priesthood of all believers.  In the world, we act out our faith in word and in deed.  When we leave the sanctuary Sunday morning, we don’t stop being the body of Christ.  Sometimes our vocation is our job; sometimes our vocation is a “hobby;” sometimes our vocation is taking care of our family.  All of these, when done with prayer and love and dedication, can be our vocation.  So as you go about your daily duties, ask yourself: how am I building up the body of Christ through my actions and words?  How am I caring for God’s creation and all of God’s children?  How am I receiving spiritual nourishment?

Being called by God doesn’t necessarily mean that we must always overtly share our faith as part of our work.  It means instead to do our work as well as we can, letting our actions speak for us, being an example to others, and taking the opportunities God gives us for prayer, for fellowship, for witness, in large ways and in small.

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