Reflection on Martin Luther King's Views on Vocation

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The colloquial topic about Luther on Vocational ethics – five hundred years Reformation conducted by Professor Nullens, helped me to discover more about my vocation in life. I am inspired by how Martin Luther bravely fight for the reformation. In fact, I already know Luther last semester because we studied about him in my Mission perspective class but now when I watched this videos, I gain more knowledge about him.

As a Christian, we have different professional vocation in this world. First we don’t really know what is our vocation or calling in life. We are just depending on our ideas or on what we really want to do. Do not be anxious if you are confused of what is your vocation rather always pray and surrender your life to God and trust His plans for you. Sola Fide will takes place. Sola Fide means “by faith alone”. Sola fide is a participation in Christ and faith working in love and that faith justifies you. We are saved by faith outside our own activity or decisions. In Latin words excanos or outside excursion. What I have understand here, was that any vocation we take as long We pray for it and put your trust on God it will be a successful decision in life. But always make sure that your vocation helps people and show and share to them the love that God has given you.

According to Colossians 3:23, ‘Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.’ Always put God first. Always think that you are serving not for the people but always for God. In this way, you will fully love and do your best in your vocation or calling. Always think that your work for God is not in vain. He always sees the desire of your hearts. Serving people doesn’t mean being a slave rather it symbolizes that you love God and all the people around you. If you have faith on God, means you trust His plans for your life. Faith and love must be always together. This is like a perfect combination that cannot be separated. Think on the broader perspective of your life. Martin Luther explained a lot of things on this video. Martin Luther’s teaching about the Christian vocation is that it has to do with one’s occupation. In fact, when one is ‘called’ to follow Jesus Christ, one’s occupation becomes the ‘calling’ in which one serves God. Therefore, this is not a completely wrong interpretation of Luther’s perspective as much as it is one-sided and incomplete. It may reflect more general ideas in terms of vocation which has penetrated much of western culture so that an occupation is referred to as one’s vocation or calling without any connection or relation at all to a call by God. It is somehow disturbing that the truth may somehow be bent into different perspective. As time goes by, the loss of essence of Luther’s meaning to vocation is may be because of Luther’s interpreters, who always consider vocation in Luther’s theology as a subcategory under the Orders of Creation. Thus, here the basic treatment is to see life in this world as life under natural law, in connection to many institutions in the society, in which the Christian is understood to be called to being a servant in any field of service or duty.

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According to Boenhoeffer, in the ethics of professional responsibility, we must have a dual task and the Christian professional behavior. As I understand this means that a Christian servant must possess the characteristics of being a Christian and the characteristics needed in vocation you take. You must realize what Jesus Christ did in order for us to be saved. He humble down himself and became human and died for us. Even it seems there is no way for us to be there in our desired vocation, but still do your best. As what I have said a while ago, “Our work is not in vain”. God is always there in every track and steps we take. If we read Luther with an unworldly literalness, when he speaks about the Christian’s calling to family, work, and citizenship, then we might explain our modern neglectful conformity. But in Luther’s day, those were controversial words and in fact, they were the contrasting elements against Christian vocation, and they turned upside down many of the structures of society.

Speaking of structures of society, this could mean that participation in such movements for social change might be interpreted exactly as a way of keeping and correcting the structure of government, same as like participation in public elections would be a good way of changing the official in charge in an office. Likewise, in our more unstable social situation, finding ways to advance to a social structure to another will be seen as a legal and even needed aspect of vocation. The difference for the Christian is that this decisions and participation will be reached in terms of service to the other people. In fact, Luther’s perspective of the prevalent of sin would serve as a critical stand point and corrective idea of both people and institutions.

Christians will have no edge in terms of pure goodness over non-believers because all people are to be understood as constant good and constantly doing sins. In fact, in terms of understanding that demands and situations were factors of God’s continuous creative work, that the Christians might have a perfect vision into what would be the supplementary actions to take. In addition, Christians would have a basis for understanding the redemptive importance of the different view of vocation. They are to be born and not rejected, not out of an in denial passivity or for the sake of own hatred, rather in obedience to God’s way of giving us freedom to have our new self which is ‘in Christ.’

How can we say we do not have a calling? Maybe Luther will ask as this question. Many opportunities were coming on our way every day. It is just we don’t know how to treasure and make out something productive on it. Defining our vocation as an occupation hinder us to move forward because we think it as a burden. But if we fully respond to God’s calling on us, He will surely sanctify and the worries we have will be gone and He will be all in all in our life.

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