What’s your vocation? When I ask people that question, 9 times out of 10, they’ll tell me about the place that gives them a paycheck.
Vocation comes from the Latin word vocatio, which if you think about, you might be able to figure out the meaning. It means “call(ing)” (think of the word vocal). What are you called to do in this life?
Many people like to say that they have a calling. The nurse has a calling to help people. The mechanic has a calling to fix cars. The professor has a calling to teach. So on and so forth.
While not wrong, that might be incomplete. Vocation from a Christian (and, particularly Lutheran) perspective is much bigger than just the place that gives you a paycheck.
Luther liked to think of Christian people having multiple vocations. A vocation is anything that you do as a Christian person. And it is the new life we have in Christ that guides the way we live in our vocation.
It is because we have new life in Christ, that ALL the things we do have meaning in this world.
This is why Easter Affects My Vocation.
Martin Luther had much to say about Christians living out their faith in their various vocations, and he spoke in no higher ways than that of Christian marriage and child-raising.
Now observe that when that clever harlot, our natural reason . . . , takes a look at married life, she turns up her nose and says, “Alas, must I rock the baby, wash its diapers, make its bed, smell its stench, stay up nights with it, take care of it when it cries, heal its rashes and sores. . . ?” [LW 45:39]
Luther brings Christian vocation to light when he responds:
What then does Christian faith say to this? It opens its eyes, looks upon all these insignificant, distasteful, and despised duties in the Spirit, and is aware that they are all adorned with divine approval as with the costliest gold and jewels. It says, O God, because I am certain that thou hast created me as a man and hast from my body begotten this child, I also know for a certainty that it meets with thy perfect pleasure. I confess to thee that I am not worthy to rock the little babe or wash its diapers, or to be entrusted with the care of the child and its mother. How is it that I, without any merit, have come to this distinction of being certain that I am serving thy creature and thy most precious will? O how gladly will I do so, though the duties should be even more insignificant and despised. Neither frost nor heat, neither drudgery nor labor, will distress or dissuade me, for I am certain that it is thus pleasing in thy sight. . . . God, with all his angels and creatures is smiling—not because the father is washing diapers, but because he is doing so in Christian faith.[LW 45:39-40]
Luther speaks other places highly of the janitor who sweeps the floors, the mother who nurses her child, and other seemingly menial tasks that when seen in the grace of God are no longer ordinary but extraordinary.
Easter affects your vocation.
Alive in Christ!