On vocation: More than just a job

At our gathering Friday night we talked about our labor — in our jobs and our callings as Christians. As another Labor Day passes, here are my notes from preparing for our discussion, some food for thought as we gear up for work and school this fall. Peace, Bob:

We tend to think of our calling in occupational terms.

We celebrate the gifts that God has given us and the ways we use them as parents and children, as neighbors and friends, as students and teachers and artists and techies.

Martin Luther affirmed that the work of our daily lives… of changing diapers and herding kids, of writing lesson plans and fixing computers and pushing papers and making copies… is all holy work.

But our true calling is more than what we do.

God calls us to use  our our gifts to feed our families and make a living…and for a larger purpose. God’s mission is to heal our brokenness and restore the creation and open us to relationship with him… And he invites us to join in this mission.

Our true calling is to join God’s work of caring for our neighbors, being with those who are sick and in trouble, forging a just society and a fair economy. We do this as students and voters and parents and workers.

Our goal is not just to make the best of the situation we’re in but to play bit parts in the world God is creating. The prophet Isaiah described it well:

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live.

We have to labor – will we spend it enriching someone or working for peace and justice?

So we bring tonight ourselves, and our work, before God, with the prayer that our labor will be spent wisely, as part of the plan of the God who loves and blesses all of God’s children.

After prayer over the symbols of work and school that we brought with us, we talked in small groups about our answers to two questions:

What gifts have you been given and called to use in your daily work?

How has God used you in the midst of life to bring healing or blessing to others?

Written by Bob Fisher in: gatherings,spirituality |

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