The Christian’s Sacred Calling (Veith)

God did not create people to be idle and lazy do-nothings. Even in the beginning, the Lord put Adam and Eve in the garden to keep it, work it, and exercise dominion over it (Gen. 1:28; 2:15). As Christians, we can think of our work in terms of God’s calling (or vocation). This is a huge topic, to be sure. One helpful resource on vocation is Gene Veith’s God at Work. I was re-reading parts of this book today and these paragraphs again caught my attention:

The Reformation notion of ‘the priesthood of all believers’ by no means denigrated the pastoral office, as is often assumed, or taught that pastors or church workers were unnecessary, or taught that everybody could come up with their own theology for themselves. Rather, it taught that the pastoral office is a vocation, a calling from God with its own responsibilities, authority, and blessings.

But it also taught that laypeople as well have vocations, callings of their own that entail holy responsibilities, authorities, and blessings of their own. Not all believers were pastors or church workers. They do not have to be in order to be perfect before God, a status attained through the blood of Christ; but all believers are priests. All believers, like the priests of the Old Testament, can come into the presence of God through the blood of the Lamb. All believers can handle holy things (such as the Bible, earlier denied the laity). All can proclaim the Gospel to those who need its saving message. ‘The priesthood of all believers” means that all Christians enjoy the same access to Christ and are spiritually equal before Him.

‘The priesthood of all believers’ did not make everyone into church workers; rather, it turned every kind of work into a sacred calling… Every kind of work, including what had heretofore been looked down upon – the work of peasants and craftsmen – is an occasion for priesthood, for exercising a holy service to God and to one’s neighbor.

Gene Veith, God at Work, p. 18-19.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015