Posted by: Keith Clark | September 9, 2009

A Common Vocation

One of the challenges we face as people of faith is not disconnecting faith from life. In Christianity Beyond Belief: Following Jesus for the Sake of Others, Todd Hunter observes the tendency we have of associating the notion of vocation solely with whatever it is we do with our lives, especially our career or job. In my experience Christians often seem to have been left with the impression that whatever they do in their various everyday roles has little or nothing to do with their faith. The ability to live out faith is thus restricted to one’s private devotional life or one’s participation in the activities of the community of faith. While these are certainly appropriate ways of living out one’s faith, I think these words from Hunter are a helpful reminder that we can live out faith by doing whatever we do all in the name of the Lord Jesus:

Vocation or calling is about much more than what we do. It is one person–God–calling to another person–me. Cooperating with God, growing in him for the sake of others, is our singular vocation, no matter what we do to get a paycheck. We are principally called to God and his purposes. Fix this in your imagination–following Jesus is our special function–and the rest will fall into place. It becomes our self-conscious identity. We can live this vision out as school teachers, police officers, business partners, actors, managers or construction workers. Life suddenly pops with meaning, power and adventure. This–cooperating with God–is why we were created. (53)

In your roles as teachers or accountants, truck drivers or doctors, stay-at-home parents or retirees, how does your faith give meaning to your ordinary routines and activities?

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