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Luther's Teaching about «calling»is probably most valuable of all that he has made in the understanding of spiritual life.
Today, the work defines our lives even more than in the days of Luther. Intense daily routine, numerous commitments tear us to pieces, accumulating fatigue. We're not always able to evaluate the correctness of their choice or the value of what we do. Work is often hinders our spiritual life, forcing us to take the moral compromise, to make a choice in favor of «worldly values», to deprive of attention own family. Us discouraged by failure, inability to achieve success in such an extent as we would like. However, work remains the center of our life, the focus of our claims and achievements.
«Who do you want to be when you grow up?» - we ask the child, not expecting an answer: «a good man», «lover of nature» or «the man with many Hobbies». We are referring only to the profession. «I'm a teacher,» we say of himself, «operator» or «assistant Manager». Our profession is inseparable from our own image.
In the end, inextricably linking themselves with their work, we come to a perverted understanding of their place in life. Work can be a reason for ignoring the more important roles of a husband or wife of a citizen, a mother or father. Those whose invaluable work is not paid Housewives and mothers, pensioners, feel discarded from the total flow. The work becomes a pursuit of the regulations, when we begin to compare one profession to another, assessing people on the prestige of their classes. No matter what, we always allow work to define who we are.
at The same time, our world spinning around work, occupy other problems: how to build a good family and to bring up children. We cover economic difficulties, we need more money to spend on what we need or like. As citizens of their country, we are dependent on the policy actions of the government and legal system.
Everything that makes our life, highlights the doctrine of vocation, giving special value in the right direction each of these areas.
Masks of God
God vsevlasten in relation to each part of His creation. He created the universe through the huge explosion, leaving it to develop spontaneously. It supports its existence, «upholding all things by His powerful word» (Hebrews 1:3). God governs all things, and is closely linked with all that He created, that is, with all that is. Its power extends to the laws of physics and the movement of galaxies, the fate of Nations and the life of every small birds (Matt. 10:29), His Providence extends to the unbelievers on a par with the believers.
In Lutheran theology speaks of the two kingdoms, and that one of the ways God reigns in Heaven and on earth. He is active in the spiritual and earthly kingdoms, and in each He operates a special means. In the spiritual realm, He uses the Word and the Sacraments. In the earth - He rules through calling.
In the Lord's Prayer, we ask God for daily bread, and receive from Him. Their food we receive not like the Israelites, in the form of manna from heaven, but through the work of farmers, truck drivers, bakers, merchants, and many others. In fact, our daily bread comes to us through the functioning of the whole economic system superiors and subordinates, banks and investors, transport infrastructure and technical means of production, all of which are interdependent and necessary for our sustenance. Each link in the economic chain includes the work to which we are called by God and distributes His gifts.
God heals the sick. And although He sometimes does this directly, making a tremendous miracles, He usually heals us hands of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. God protects us from evil. He does this through the police, judges, lawyers and military. God teaches through the teachers govern a society through rulers, preaches the gospel through pastors.
God could populate the earth, making each person and each generation of dust from the ground. Instead He created a family. By predestination of God every child is a piece of a new life comes into the world, and increases cares and labors of a man and a woman United by the bonds of family. Husband, wife, mother, father all are callings, through which God extends His creation reveals His love.
All this shows that in the earthly realm, as in spiritual things, God gives us His gifts in a special way. By predestination of God, people joining love, relationships and communication, in which each dependent on the other. Thus, God, in His caretaking cares about people, and we all contribute, according to the God-given abilities, talents, capabilities and position . «That represents in the eyes of God our work in the field, in the garden, in the city, at home, in battle or on the throne, as not a children's game, by which it pleases God to send their gifts in the field, at home and everywhere? This is the mask of our Lord God, hiding under which He prefers to do Its deeds».
God, pouring His generosity on the just and the unjust, believers and unbelievers, hidden in all spheres of life, including even the most insignificant. Thus, God graciously cares for us with other people's hands. In all, starting with the care of our parents and Sciences, taught us the teachers, in all odaryayut us, our spouses, employers and governments, veiled by God Himself, is all His blessings.
Thus there is a huge complex system consisting of people with different talents and abilities. Each serves and accepts the service of others. We Americans, there is an ideal of self-sufficiency, we dream about how to grow your own food, build their homes and live independently from other people. But I repeat that man was created to live in dependence. Because love is the center of all we have to rely on other people, and ultimately through them to God; and Vice versa (excluding lovers live at the expense of others), other people must rely on us. We are called to work for the good of others. In the earthly Kingdom of God, we receive His blessings through the works of other people, and they, in turn, blessed through us.
Before I became a Lutheran and began to learn the doctrine of vocation, I had a really bad habit of all in-house repair themselves, not having a slightest abilities. Results invariably become frustrated, lost time, and spoiled the case and a higher fee for repair services, than usually. Trying to repair the electric outlet, I punched a hole in the wall and I remained alive. Now I realized what was my problem - I have no vocation to things like this.
Since I gladly reap the fruits of calling fitters, electricians and carpenters, as well as car mechanics, hairdressers, cooks, bankers and artists. People endowed with skilled hands, do not neglect their talents, such a variety of abilities and vocations is itself a gift of God. However, in our earthly life we do not have to do everything ourselves. Life on earth for believers and non-believers - is to take and give, to serve and to receive the Ministry the overall economic, public and social interdependence.
Hard call to serve as a mask of God determines the range and nature of the Christian Ministry. «God rewards us with all that is good, - said Luther, " but... you should labor to serve Him as a weapon and mask.
What it means to have a calling?
Purpose of calling each of us, whatever it was, in the service of others. We are talking here about the commandment to love others. While justification is not dependent on we committed in our good deeds, they are inseparable from the calling. Attitude of a Christian with God is based solely on the grace and forgiveness that comes with God, but relations with people should be based on actions, dictated by love.
unfortunately, and in calling his people continue to sin. We break God's Law, neglecting the duty to love and selflessly serve them with their work. Despite the fact that we wish for God to work in us and through us, there is something in the calling, which enables us to do good to others even in spite of themselves.
marriage makes us narcissistic the selfish, take care of each other and support each other much more than if we were alone. When they become parents, adults, in spite of the natural egoism, they sacrifice their own needs for the welfare of their children. They do so not on the imposed from the outside undertaking, but precisely because they are the parents and voluntarily doing this to their own children.
similarly, the owner of the company can not think of love or service to others. 's possible that they're only greed.
And yet, thanks to his calling, it creates jobs and allows employees to care about their families. Products of his company is necessary for people, it brings them joy, making the manufacturer's blessing. The sinfulness of people unable to prevent God to use their professional calling.
But how do we find his calling?
Strictly speaking, - and contrary to what we urged young people to «decide»than they do when they grow up - we do not choose his vocation. It is given to us by God, which «urges» to a certain work or position. God gives everybody a unique talents, abilities and inclinations. He puts humans in special circumstances, which should be seen as the Providence of God. Because calling is not choose, you can find it through the actions of others. Proposal of work, election to the post, someone to want to join with you in marriage can give you a path to your vocation.
In essence, the call should be sought where you currently are. Man, zasidevshiysya in dead-end, you may want more, but it is to this work, no matter how modest it may be, it is currently. Prepare hamburgers, clean hotel rooms, to make the ship - each of these classes has its own advantage and allows to show love to our neighbor unselfish service, in which disappears God. Perhaps later, there will be other work, however vocation is to be sought not only in the choice of profession, but each minute of life. You cannot use the «absence of a vocation to marriage» as a reason for divorce or «lack of vocations to the education of children» to shift this responsibility on to other shoulders. If you are married, this is your calling. If you have children, is your vocation.
in addition, there are usually no one calling. Any of us a lot of them. Each person may at the same time be a husband (serving his wife), father (serving their children), the son (by serving their parents, if they are alive), employer (by serving their employees), worker (serving his superiors), the citizen serving their country). Please note that the same person in his work may be the same as «owner»controlling the work of subordinates, and a «servant», responsible for the administration Director, the shareholders or by the electorate. Any work may require and the ability to lead, the ability to obey. The doctrine of vocation helps to understand the diversity of how we carry out our role, giving each of its dignity, and value.
Activity by vocation and outside of it.
Every calling has its own special competence and sphere of activity, each has its own rules. It would be highly immoral for any of us to undress a stranger, and cut his body with a knife. However, this is quite acceptable, if your profession is a doctor. Sexual relations outside of marriage are immoral, but between husband and wife - they are blessed.
When someone hurts us, our first desire is revenge, is strictly prohibited by Scripture. Fighting crime - car chases, shootings, arrests or penalty is not our calling. However, this is the calling of police officers, judges and the entire legal system: «do Not avenge yourselves, beloved, - writes St. Paul, but give place to wrath of God. For it is written, ‘vengeance’, - says the Lord» (Romans 12:19). In the following verses rather emphasizes the need to forgive our enemies, to feed them when they are hungry, and overcome evil with good (12:20-21). But immediately followed by a consideration of the role of civil authorities, and the need to comply with them: «For there is no power but of God» (13:1). An earthly ruler «is the Minister of God to thee for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he was not in vain is the sword: he's God's servant, otmstitel in the punishment of him that doeth evil» (13:4). That is, we should not take vengeance into their own hands is the work of God. But He works through their «agents»who in their official calls to «carry a sword.»
hottest disputes Luther concerned, can a Christian be a judge of an executioner or a soldier. Why, the Bible said: «you shall Not kill». However, the judge has to impose the death sentence and the executioner enforce it. Soldiers killed in battle, and not forgiving their enemies. Luther had no doubt that a Christian should not deprive life of other people. However, God has such power, and He does this through a special servants of the law - judges, executioners, and soldiers. In the treatise, entitled «Can the soldiers enter the Kingdom of heaven» (1526) Luther concludes that the soldiers also serves and loves his fellows. In personal relationships, as Christians, soldiers must forgive our enemies, but by protecting the country, they are called to fight and kill on the battlefield. Military service is actually «blessed» the service of love: «Thus, if a warrior is from God the ability to fight, or can he saw it in her craft and craft, to serve those who need it, and take the salary for this, as for their work. Because it is also a profession, the necessity of which is predetermined by the law of love.»
I am Also convinced that since the father's calling includes the protection of his family, for that he may use force. However, calling a doctor to heal, and not to kill (therefore, euthanasia is not supported). The calling of mother - to raise their children, therefore, are prohibited abortions).
Some people think this view of the authorities and even the army opens the door to tyranny. As will be shown in the next Chapter, this is not the case. God reigns both kingdoms, and the Word of His power over all things. People greshaschie in your calling, distort God's intention profession, neglecting selfless service and love for neighbor, respectively punished and anger of God. To us it is important to remember that God almost exercise their power through the people of the certain callings. Legitimate governments have the authority from God, as well as parents.
due to The fact that God determines the scope of each calling, problems arise when people start to act outside of his calling. Think again about my attempts to repair electrical appliances. In an effort to act outside of his vocation, not thinking about the abilities, inclinations and position in life, God has given us, we often fail or, even worse, are violating the moral commandments.
Happens quite often, that we strive to get a profession, the implementation of which we have no abilities, and therefore calling. Many of my students choose a specialty, guided only wages, regardless of what gifts God gave them. They become accountants, managers or engineers, but shortly hated their work and never will achieve successful in it. Their vocation may be music, or visual arts, but they try to be «practical» - as if we choose his vocation - reject gifts assigned to them by God, trying to develop the missing they talents. There are teachers who are not allowed to be good teachers. There are politicians, not endowed with the ability to manage. However, taking his position, they should be aware that they are called upon and must work as best as possible. However, it is better to rely on their special gifts.
More serious consequences may be caused by interference of people of one calling in fact, that is the prerogative of the other. I repeat that individuals have no right to take justice into their own hands.» Nor the state can assume the right to raise children, this right belongs to parents. Luther particularly outraged when the worldly rulers allowed themselves to teach pastors preach. His indignation was expressed in a form that takes any allegations of service secular rulers: «you Fool! he said the Prince. "See what you are called, don't try to preach, leave it to their pastor».
Pastor is, of course, unique God's calling is not only the earth, but in His spiritual Kingdom. Features of the pastoral Ministry of Word and sacrament.
Others may fight sword, said Luther, but the pastor is only a Word. He has no right to use force, coercion or manipulation of people, seeking to lead them to faith, it relies only on the power of Words. The pastor must preach the Word without compromise, even when it exposes the powerful and their actions. However, it must not become a politician, encroaching on the calling of earthly rulers. Calling the pastor is to call sinners in the Kingdom which is not of this world.
Hands pastor Lord make Baptism. Christ leads the Supper, during which the pastor giving out bread and wine. The word of God set off alarm bells sounded in pastoral sermon.
Laity also serve in the Church, using their skills and talents - his calling, for the good of the community of believers. Property management and planning, Ministry of the councils and the like need any institution. Laity can also proclaim the gospel of Christ, first at the place of his calling. Parents evangelizing their children. At work we have relationships with colleagues, with whom in the process of friendship and common work, we can share the gospel of grace. The word of God enters the world through a special vocation, but also laypeople, and their pastors should remember that «Church» is not the only way to work for God. It is pleasant to spend every evening in the Church, «doing the work of the Lord», but, according to the teaching of the call, the time spent in a family with children or a dedicated professional duties - also work for God, or rather the work of God in you.
Calling pastor Ministry, he is a servant of the Word of God. Serving the laity, he feeds us with the Word of God and His Ordinances, proclaims the Law of God and the gospel of forgiveness in Jesus Christ. In this we are extremely dependent on their pastors, because through them we are coming to Christ. The value of the word «pastor» is just a «shepherd», modest calling of God in the earthly realm. The pastor instructed to feed the sheep of the Lord, and in his calling, and hid there is God.
Carrying the cross in calling
With all the sublime spiritual significance of everyday life, which gives it the doctrine of vocation and what God is actively present in our labors and relationships, we still fail suffer and feel disappointment in his calling. Parents who made everything for his children, pained to see how their children turn away from them. The owner of the company may go bankrupt and all its servants will be on the street. The community may turn away from his pastor. Problems are inevitable in every marriage. Often or from time to time our mission turns into a heavy burden, in the cross, which have to bear. The theology of the cross applies in particular to the vocation.
Because God works through our calling, the devil tries to pervert this concept itself. One of the ways is the replacement of the sacrificial service and love of neighbor-samovozvelichivaniem, gordineyu and achievement spiritually empty success.
Another devilish reception distract a person from his calling. «The temptation is that the devil tries to stop the person from his calling.» So tempted to give up - to divorce, to leave their children, quit your job, stop writing music or «earth» other talents.
Carrying the cross of my calling, we often feel a feeling that our work is in vain. «When calling becomes to us, the cross, it always seems low». The irony is that even the most prestigious of the vocations, gives power over the people, can cause such feelings. Presidents and millionaires often suffer from a sense of responsibility and sense of its own inability to carry her. «For outsiders, some callings as if surrounded by lustrous. But from the inside can be seen that they require a sacrificial service to others, which is the cross for our old man».
There are also the usual hardships inherent in any calling. These disappointments and suffering absorbs the cross of Christ in a time when we are clearly aware of our weakness and dependence on It. The sense of «nothingness» calling you can resist pride, but it can and cultivate humility. Failure to succeed through his own efforts produces in us a deep faith in God, veiled under maskoyu.
Testing calling encourage us to prayer. The most intense and passionate prayer breaks our hearts in times of trial. Such prayer remains unanswered, she invites God in our efforts. We commit your case to God, obeying His will and rely on His Providence. In addition, prayer brings faith in our calling.
Dependence upon God, expressed in prayer, is a manifestation of faith. Without faith vocation is perceived as a pointless exercise in which God has no place. Faith sees it as one of the masks of God. Without faith suffering empty and bestselni, they are the only proof of the absurdity and futility of existence. With faith tested in the calling of becoming a cross, understand the value of which is possible only through the saving cross of Jesus Christ.
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