Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
– 1 Corinthians 12:27
At a recent confirmation class, we talked about the concept of “vocation,” the idea that God calls people into roles in life. Before Martin Luther, most people primarily thought of vocation as being called into a professional religious occupation, such as becoming a priest, monk, or nun.
Luther expanded the idea of vocation to include other jobs and occupations, not just working professionally in the church. Luther understood that God calls all people to serve their neighbors, not just clergy.
As Lutherans, we believe God is at work in all of life. Working at the grocery store, waiting on tables, selling commercial real estate, being a spouse, building houses, parenting, studying, nursing – all of these can be vocations, because God calls us to love and serve others wherever we are.
One of my least favorite phrases is “Going into the ministry.” I’m here as an intern in training to be a pastor, but I’m not “going into the ministry.” We’re all in the ministry already! God has called all of us to minister to each other, in different ways and in different roles. All of us have “minister” as one of our many vocations.
As I’ve been here through the busy Christmas season, I’ve been encouraged by how many people are involved in the ministry of this congregation, in so many ways inside and outside the church building. Of course there is always plenty of room for more people to get involved, but I’m so grateful for the ministry of all the members here at St. Peter. Your ministry – in all of your vocations – reflects Christ!
Daniel Flucke, Pastoral Intern