Christ Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Day 3: Vocation Devotion

Wednesday May 6th

Luther’s Small Catechism is many things.  Among them is the fact that the Small Catechism is a practical guide on how to live your life with all the vocations God has given you.  

Luther’s Small Catechism will tell you how to be a creature of God.  It will tell you how to be a Christian.  It will teach you how to pray.  It will teach you how to be a good parent/child.  It will tell you how to live and treat your neighbors.  It tells you how to have a great marriage, it tells you how to go about your day to day labors and work.  It tells you take care of your neighbor’s livelihood.  It teaches you how to be a good citizen, a good pastor, a good widow, a good you name it.  

Today’s devotion will take us on a brief tour to show how Luther structured his catechism to matrix to your daily life.  You won’t believe how practical this all is!  

The 10 commandments are where we start.  These teach us what good works look like.  These teach us how we should define love.  Here are some examples:

Have only one God, the true God.  Use God’s name for prayer.  Hear and receive God’s gifts as a Christian.  Obey traffic laws because you honor your Father and your mother.  Feed your neighbor and love your enemies with blessing, supplies, and prayers.  Knock off the pornography, and other adulterous attacks that prey upon marriage whether you are single or married.  Be a good worker by not stealing company time, be a good employer by paying fair wages!  Don’t gossip or lie or throw your fellow human under the bus, encourage your fellow creatures goods and people to stay where they are at in life.

I could go on and on but start plugging your daily tasks into the 10 commandments, you will see that the board will light up!  

Next we see our God who has made us and placed us where we are at in our lives.  We give thanks for his givenness of our Creation in the Creed.  We has given me a body.  He cares for my needs through his Creation.  He grants me safety because of government, family, and friends.  I am clothed because he cares for me through my job.  In all this we see that God provides all that is needed so that we can satisfy our vocations.  He has even sealed us with the blood of Christ so that when we fail we can have forgiveness and restoration. By the power of the Holy Spirit, you are equipped. You are richly forgiven and placed within a community of believers!  The Holy Spirit places you in every spiritual place of vocation, whether that be Christian, pastor, one who prays or worships, those are all vocations!  

Speaking of prayer.  Luther’s catechism teaches us how how to pray with our Lord as he taught us to pray.  We learn our vocation as children of God to call upon him as Father.  We ask to be able to live our callings by keeping God’s name holy in all we say and do.  We pray that we may be made citizens of his heavenly kingdom that is coming. We ask that in our vocations we may have God’s will become our will even as God accomplishes already in heaven.  We ask that God would provide us with substance in our vocation as creatures who are limited and dependent.  Yes, learning to be dependent on God is a vocation as Christian and Creature!  In our daily life, we ask for God to guard us from temptations that plague our various callings and to deliver us from the evil one.  What else can be said to these prayers for our vocation but Amen!  

In baptism, we learn what it means to be called into our vocation as Christians and children of God.  We learn how God has worked this great calling and life into us.  We have identity and restoration through him because we are baptized!  This now calls for us to daily drown the old Adam in us by daily contrition and repentance.  

This leads to Confession and Absolution.  Baptism and the life of the Christian is lived out here!  This is how you live the vocation as Christian: repenting and receiving God’s forgiveness.  The Church’s overall vocation is the making of disciples by teaching and baptizing.  We are called to forgive sins.  No one else in all of the universe, whether they be creature or institution, can forgive sins except for us!  Only we as Christians have the authority to forgive sins because we are backed by Christ.  This is a mighty vocation that is severely overlooked!  

Finally, in the Lord’s Supper, we learn that our vocation as Christians is to learn to receive from God.  To receive life and salvation by the forgiveness of our sins by the shed blood and body of Christ.  The Lord’s Supper shows us how to worship and to live together as dear brothers and sisters in Christ.  Our vocation as Christians is communal and the Lord’s Supper creates and fosters and sustains that vocation.  

Of course, the Small Catechism has sections of daily prayers and the table of duties.  If you want more of what we are called to do and pray for in our vocations, these two neglected sections will enrich your discipleship in Jesus Christ.  

May God strengthen us in our vocations for Jesus Christ’s sake!  Amen.