Vocation Topical Study

<p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Vocation in Scripture</span></strong></p><ul><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Genesis%201%3A28">Genesis 1:28</a>, have dominion over every living thing</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Genesis%2012%3A1">Genesis 12:1</a>, &quot;Now the L<span class="small-caps">ord</span> said to Abram, `Go from your country and your kindred and your father&#39;s house to the land that I will show you.&#39;&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Joshua%2022%3A5">Joshua 22:5</a>, serve the Lord with all your heart</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Psalm%20105%3A1-2">Psalm 105:1-2</a>, make known the deeds of the Lord to all the people</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Amos%205%3A15">Amos 5:15</a>, &quot;Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Micah%206%3A8">Micah 6:8</a>, what does the Lord require of you?</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Matthew%206%3A33">Matthew 6:33</a>, &quot;Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Matthew%209%3A9">Matthew 9:9</a>, Jesus says &quot;follow me&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Matthew%2028%3A18-20">Matthew 28:18-20</a>, the great commission</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Mark%201%3A14-15">Mark 1:14-15</a>, &quot;repent and believe in the good news&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/1%20Corinthians%201%3A26-27">1 Corinthians 1:26-27</a>, &quot;Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/1%20Corinthians%207%3A17">1 Corinthians 7:17</a>, &quot;Let each of you lead the life that the L<span class="small-caps">ord</span> has assigned, to which God called you&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Ephesians%202%3A10">Ephesians 2:10</a>, &quot;For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/1%20Peter%202%3A9">1 Peter 2:9</a>, God has called you out of darkness into his marvlous light</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/1%20Peter%204%3A10">1 Peter 4:10</a>, &quot;Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.&quot;</span></li></ul><p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Reflections about Vocation</span></strong></p><p><span class="body-copy">People often use &quot;vocation&quot; to mean their paid occupation: &quot;I&#39;m a house painter by vocation,&quot; for example. Their other principal pastimes or hobbies are then avocations. But not every Christian always has a paid occupation. Yet they do have callings &mdash; to have dominion, to go where God leads them, to give thanks, to do justice and love kindness, to keep God&#39;s commands, to follow Jesus, to make good works our way of life, to seek first the kingdom of God.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">A Christian&#39;s biggest calling</span></strong></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">All these sub-callings fit snugly inside what we might describe as a Christian&#39;s biggest calling: to be a faithful citizen of the kingdom of God, or even an enthusiastic citizen &mdash; a prime citizen. That is, a Christian&#39;s calling is to think, speak, and act in ways that accord with God&#39;s kingly rule and to contribute to building shalom, or, in New Testament terms, to the ultimate coming of the kingdom at the end.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">So Christian pray &quot;Your kingdom come&quot; and then work in the same direction as they pray. After all, &quot;Your kingdom come&quot; means &quot;Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.&quot; A prime citizen of the kingdom will contribute heavily to this cause. She doesn&#39;t merely endorse justice in the world; she hungers and works for it. She doesn&#39;t merely reject cruelty; she hates and fights it. She wants God to make things right in the world, and she wants to enroll in God&#39;s project as if it were her own. She &quot;strives first for the kingdom&quot; in order to act on her passion.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Christian follow their calling to strive for the kingdom of God in any way that contributes to the betterment of the world: by being a lively and contributing member of the church and her ministries, yes, but also by striving for just governance, by voting intelligently, by praying for leaders faithfully, and by paying taxes willingly even if not cheerfully.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">OCcupations may play an important role within a Christian&#39;s main vocation, but only to the extent that they actually contribute to it.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Seeking the Interests of the Kingdom</span></strong></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Christians follow their main vocation by playing a lively part in institutions and endeavors that, consciously or not, seek the interests of the kingdom. Of these the church is first, but others &mdash; including governments, businesses, professions, and non-profit service organizations &mdash; are crucial as well. So are families. If they work right, families become a microcosm of the kingdom of God, incubating us in faith, hope, and love, schooling us in patience, supplying us with memories good enough to take out of storage on a lonely night. Families can give us our first lessons in meshing our kingdoms with others. They can fill us with delight, especially when they contain sunny, unspoiled toddlers.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">To follow their main vocation of serving the kingdom of God, Christians pursue a wonderful array of sub-vocations. They sing, pray, and hand each other the body and blood of Christ. They rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. They fight against evil, but also fly kites and bake bread. As part of their vocation they absorb good books and good music. They work, but also rest from work in order to make a space in which to long for God. Some of them join volunteer groups that turn rails to trails, or that assist flood victims, or that paint somebody&#39;s house. In an emergency, an adult Christian might spend herself for a friend who is dying &mdash; sitting with her, praying with her, encouraging her, seeing to some of her needs. This isn&#39;t a job that appears on any government list of occupations, but it is a calling of God, and it is surely a contribution to the kingdom of God.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Too may Christians believe in their vocation too narrowly. It is actually vast and deep. Pursuing it may be thought of as a life&#39;s adventure.</span></p>