Thursday, June 19, 2008

Would Would Jesus Want Me To Do? Vocation! Vocation!

I enjoyed this blog post from "the evangelical outpost" entitled "Six Thoughts About Jesus."  There's nice thoughts about the Kingdom of God, the Incarnation, and Jesus the intellectual.  But especially nice was the section on Vocation.  Joe Carter makes a nice point about the old WWJD stuff commenting as I often have it's not WWJD but WD(id)JD.  He carries it a bit further to WWJWMTD.  It is a great question.  The answer, serve where God has place me to serve.  Vocation!  Here's what Joe wrote.

In 1896 a Christian socialist named Charles Sheldon wrote a book called In His Steps which popularized the slogan "What Would Jesus Do" and inspired two of the most well-intentioned but misguided fads of the 20th century: the Social Gospel movement and the marketing of WWJD paraphernalia. The problem with both is that they are based on WWJD and that is the wrong question.

The Gospels provide us with a rather clear record of what Jesus did -- healed the sick, preached, traveled, made disciples, etc. While we may also be expected to do these types of things, they were essential to Christ's earthly mission. If he were walking the streets of America he would likely still be doing the same thing. But is this what we should be doing? Not necessarily. We are not Jesus; we are his disciples. Our mission is not his mission but the mission he assigns us. The question we should keep constantly before us is "What Would Jesus Want Me To Do." But then WWJWMTD isn't as easy to embroider on a bracelet or fit on a bumper sticker.

Luther is always good to quote.  On the same subject Luther talks about doing what God calls each of us to do; serve in the vocation we've been given.

Thus every person surely has a calling. While attending to it he serves God. A king serves God when he is at pains to look after and govern his people. So do the mother of a household when she tends her baby, the father of a household when he gains a livelihood by working, and a pupil when he applies himself diligently to his studies.

This sure life of godliness the monks and nuns have abandoned, for they considered these works to be too insignificant and looked for others seemingly more burdensome. At the same time they departed from the faith and became disobedient to God.

Therefore it is great wisdom when a human being does what God commands and earnestly devotes himself to his vocation without taking into consideration what others are doing. But surely there are few who do this. The majority do what the poet censures: “A lazy ox wants a saddle, a lazy nag wants to plow.”

There are very few who live satisfied with their lot. The layman longs for the life of a cleric, the pupil wishes to be a teacher, the citizen wants to be a councilor, and each one of us loathes his own calling, although there is no other way of serving God than to walk in simple faith and then to stick diligently to one’s calling and to keep a good conscience.

Luther, M. (1999, c1961). Vol. 3: Luther's works, vol. 3 : Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 15-20 (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther's Works (3:128). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

Thanks to my friend pr. David Schultz, Fenton, IA for keeping vocation always before me!

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