Christian Vocation and Life
We believe, teach, and confess that God calls us to faith in his Son, and calls us to love our neighbor by placing us into various vocations. Vocation comes from the Latin word “to call”. By this word, we mean the stations in which we find ourselves in life. Pastor, church member, judge, president, soldier, doctor, police officer, garbage man, mother, father, child, teacher, student — wherever you are in life, you will find yourself in several vocations.
The vocations God has placed us in are the ways God works through us in order to serve our neighbor. Our vocations are lived out in service in the church, home and workplace, and society. In anything that involves action, anything that concerns the world or our relationships, there is nothing that falls in a private sphere lying outside our Christian vocation. The vocations God calls us to are intended to serve and help others. It is through our vocations that God’s creative and loving work moves in the world. Through our vocations God fulfills His desire to love us. We call the fulfilling of these vocations good works. Vocations are rightly understood when we see them as how God serves us through others around us. So our vocations in life are not a way to gain salvation, or be resurrected, or have a right relationship with God, but rather they are the way God works through us to serve this world. Perhaps another way to say it is, we are God’s “masks” in this world.
Gene E. Veith, a Lutheran writer and English professor, has written two helpful books on the Christian doctrine of vocation. We recommend reading God at Work and Working for Our Neighbor for further study in this part of the Christian life. More information can also be found on the link below, in the LCMS stewardship resources.