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Vocation and Calling

In today’s world, the word “vocation” generally is used synonymously  with the word “job,” but is that really what the word means?  The original root word for "vocation" literally means a “calling.” Typically, when asked who is called by God, most people would respond that pastors, priests, and others who work in a church are called to do so. In reality, though, the concept of God's “calling” applies to everyone in God's gift of Baptism.


In his exposition on Psalm 147, Martin Luther helps us understand that, in our life, we are all called in many and various ways. Luther writes:











Thus, in our life, we are each called in many and various ways. What is more, the ways in which we are called may  change and take different forms at different parts of our lives. So while those serving as Pastor, Priest or any other church work are understood to be called, such is no more or no less a calling than any other way in which we may earn a living. We understand that regardless of our job or what type of work we do, we are always to do so as those serving as part of the body of Christ in the world.

This sense of our calling extends even further and encompasses the relationships with others. As such, our faith informs and framed all relationships of which we are a part including;  sons and daughters, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters; friends, co-workers,  and the list goes on. In short, in  all that we are and in all that we do, we strive to live according to our Baptismal calling in Christ.

The BLC vocational statement below, outlines just a few of the many ways in which we all are called to live and to serve. We admittedly fall short, but rejoice and give thanks for God’s infinite and abundant grace, mercy, and forgiveness. In Christ, we live as those who are called, fed, and sent to love and serve even as Christ first loves and serves us.

God could easily give you grain and fruit without your plowing and planting. But He does not want to do so. . . . What else is all our work to God—whether in the fields, in the garden, in the city, in the house, in war, or in government—but just such a child’s performance, by which He wants to give His gifts in the fields, at home, and everywhere else? These are the masks of God, behind which He wants to remain concealed and do all things.”

“We have the saying: ‘God gives every good thing, but not just by waving a hand.’ God gives all good gifts; but you must lend a hand and take the bull by the horns.”

“Make the bars and gates, and let Him fasten them. Labor, and let Him give the fruits. Govern, and let Him give His blessing. Fight, and let Him give the victory. Preach, and let Him win hearts. Take a husband or a wife, and let Him produce the children. Eat and drink, and let Him nourish and strengthen you. And so on. In all our doings He is to work through us, and He alone shall have the glory from it.”

Living in God’s grace, and gathered together in his name,

we are called, fed, and sent in Christ as:


Children of God,

      named and claimed in the waters of Baptism,

      Baptized into the death                                                                      and resurrection of Christ,

      now walking in newness of life,

      called as one body and one spirit,

               into one hope, one Lord,

               one faith, one baptism,

               one body, one blood;

      Fed and nourished by Christ

            in Word and Sacrament;

      called and sent to be the Body of Christ

            actively serving in the world;


Disciples* of Christ, Our Lord,

      called into a life in which we deny ourselves,

            as we take up our cross and follow Christ;


Stewards entrusted to care for

      God’s creation of which we are a part,

      and the mysteries of God;


Those freed to be Servants to all,

      for the sake of Christ, who first serves all;

A Priesthood  of all believers

      called into lives of worship, service

      and prayer;


Ministers serving others

      under Christ’s healing authority;


Apostles* sent to bear the message

      that is Christ himself,

      and welcomed into God’s mission in Christ;


Those Blessed to be a blessing to others,

      called to serve as salt and light in the world,

      as those doing justice, loving mercy,

            and walking with the Lord


Ambassadors of Christ,

who as those forgiven in Christ’s mercy,

are now called

      to welcome all into reconciliation

            with God and one another;


Those entering into the Peace of Christ,

that passes understanding

and called to share that same Peace with others;


Those actively waiting in the already and not yet;


Each called into and serving in differing vocations,

      living into the faith of Christ,

      and thankfully responding

                        to Christ’s gift of all that he is …

* - in Scripture, the Greek word that is usually translated as "disciple" may be understood as one who follows another in order to learn. The term though is generally understood as extending beyond a student merely seeking knowledge to one who, as an apprentice, follows a teacher into a way of life.

The Greek word for "apostle" means one who is sent bearing a message.

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