The Doctrine of Vocation: How God Hides Himself in Human Work

Saturday, 01 May 1999

The purpose of one's vocation, whatever it might be, is serving others. It has to do with fulfilling Christ's injunction to love one's neighbor.
The word "calling," or in its Latinate form "vocation," had long been used in reference to the sacred ministry and the religious orders. Martin Luther was the first to use "vocation" to refer also to secular offices and occupations. Today, the term has become common-place, another synonym for a profession or job, as in "vocational training." But behind the term is the notion that every legitimate kind of work or social function is a distinct "calling" from God, requiring unique God-given gifts, skills, and talents. Moreover, the Reformation doctrine ...

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