Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Christ in us serving..."

This guest blogger at Internet Monk was becoming frustrated and burned out by "church work" until contact with Lutherans resulted in the discovery of the doctrine of vocation:
.... My Pastor puts it this way. When we pray ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ loaves of bread don’t fall from the sky. (We don’t see manna or multiplying loaves much any more.) A Farmer plants and harvests wheat. A miller grinds it. A baker bakes it. A truckdriver hauls it to a store and the store sells it to us. These are God’s means of providing our daily bread. These vocations of farmer, miller, baker, truck driver and store owner could almost be seen as masks of God. He is behind each one of these providing bread to eat.

God has placed each one of us uniquely in our vocations, as sons or daughters, brothers or sisters, fathers or mothers, employees, employer, students, teachers, govenors or citizens. Each has specific duties and responsibilities to serve our neighbor, in ways unique to each station in life, outlined in God’s word, that as Christians we strive to accomplish. This is where the rubber meets the road in the Christian life. This is Christ in us serving our neighbor,and it is also us in Christ serving Him.

The second part of the doctrine of vocation is that all true and valid vocations are equally pleasing to God. During Luther’s time the church had developed a two tiered approach to the Christian life. Those who really wanted to serve God and obtain his blessings became priests and nuns, or attached themselves to one of the monastic orders. These people were considered to be more holy and better Christians than the average guy warming a pew. They also invented a whole list of made up works that elicited God’s favor. Pilgrimages and fasts, taking vows and joining a monastery. These were considered more pleasing to God than doing a good job at work or being a good parent. Luther considered the whole scheme to be hogwash and stated that a mother lovingly changing her infant’s diaper was doing a holier work than anyone taking a monastic vow or going on a pilgrimage. He said any true vocation done with faith in Christ was just as pleasing to God as the vocation of being a priest or monk. In the Lutheran church today, the vocation of Pastor is held in no higher esteem than any other vocation.

This knowledge has been incredibly freeing to me and a number of friends and relatives. By being a good worker and a good dad and husband I am serving Christ. By voting and paying my taxes I am serving Christ in my vocation as citizen. It is truly good news to those of us who thought that we had to be working in the church to serve the Lord. .... [more]
Six Floors of Sunday School….. to what end? | internetmonk.com