A Purpose Driven Life

“Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God, Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens that cry.” – Psalm 147:7-9

Martin Luther was the first to apply the word “calling” or “vocation” to secular jobs and professions. These terms had been used before, but only for the priesthood and ministry in the church. Martin Luther saw God’s providence, calling and vocation in the entire economic system where one could legitimately provide a service to one’s neighbor. Sure, God could easily provide manna to all the world like He did for Israel in the wilderness, but He chooses to work through means. Today, God still provides “Our daily bread” when we pray the Lord’s Prayer, but it comes to our tables through the farmer who sows and harvests, the baker who produces loaves of bread, the truck driver who delivers it to the grocery store, and the cashier who checks us out with your groceries. God Himself still sustains His creation and provides all we need through vocations. For Luther, God hides Himself and you can only see His hand of providence through the masks of a vocation. Yes, God still heals today and sometimes directly, but He does it through the doctors, nurses and modern medicine. God even watches over us, protects us evil and allows us to live in safety. Sometimes God Himself intervenes to save us directly, but He is always working through the vocations of police officers, soldiers and firefighters. God could form every generation of human beings from the dust of the earth, just like Adam and Eve, but He has chosen to do it through the vocation of mothers and fathers. God has even given us pastors and called church works to forgive us our sins and God’s behalf. Whatever our calling in life is, we are God’s masks, through which God continues to care for humanity as He works through us. No matter who we are God has created us for a purpose. Our vocational callings are the means through which God works to sustain His creation. Therefore, perform your calling well and do a good job in your vocation, and find joy in your work for through your work you bring God pleasure and fulfill His purposes.

“In his vocation man does works which effect the well-being of others; for so God has made all offices. Through this work in man's offices, God's creative work goes forward, and that creative work is love, a profusion of good gifts. With persons as his "hands" or "coworkers," God gives his gifts through the earthly vocations, toward man's life on earth (food through farmers, fishermen and hunters; external peace through princes, judges, and orderly powers; knowledge and education through teachers and parents, etc., etc.). Through the preacher's vocation, God gives the forgiveness of sins. Thus love comes from God, flowing down to human beings on earth through all vocations, through both spiritual and earthly governments.” – Martin Luther, quoted by Gustaf Wingren from “Luther on Vocation”

God Bless,

Pastor Joel