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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Masks of God

Today, we had a congregational one-day retreat on the topic of vocation. That's "vOcation," not "vAcation." All of us have various vocations or callings from God. For instance, I have a divine call to be a pastor. But I am also called by God to be a husband, a father, a son, a citizen, a neighbor, etc. And each person's various vocations have particular functions and responsibilities. Martin Luther's "Table of Duties" in his Small Catechism spells this out quite well.

Each one of us is a "mask of God" as, through us, the Creator continues to sustain His creation. How does God take care of you in the world? Through the farmer who grows your food. Through the grocer who stocks and sells you your food. Through the policeman who protects your life and property. Through doctors and nurses who treat you when you are sick. Through your pastor who applies God's Word to you. And so forth.

Our relationship toward God is defined by faith, the passive reception of God's gifts through His Son: namely, forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. Our relationship toward our neighbor is defined by love, expressed through good works. God uses your good deeds, as you faithfully fulfill your vocations, to sustain those around you. God, after all, does not need your good works. But your neighbor does.

Hearty thanks to Rev. Mark Sell, book editor at Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO.

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David said...

Well said, Pastor Stiegemeyer!

Our hidden God, or not so hidden, is amazing to see!

Thanks to God for the revelation of Himself that he has given us in ways that we don't at-first expect.

Christopher P. Stewart said...

An intersting article, though I don't really follow how a paster applies God's word to me.

It seems so impersonal to apply the word of God.

New Curriculum at Concordia Theological Seminary