the green fields beyond


Location: Charles City, Virginia, United States

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Even Your Beer-Barrel Cries Out

Loved this. It's one of those clarifying, liberating thoughts that can continue to provide more food for thought (and action!) as I meditate on it: Don't be paralyzed over "What does God want me to do?" Rather, look at where you already are, what you do for a living, and your existing relationships, and find God's "will" for you in the mundane details of life. But of course Luther says it in a better, earthier way than I would:

"The incomparably clearest sign in God’s providence is the fact that we have the neighbor we actually have. In that fact lies the law, an evidence of a definite vocation. Uncertainty [as to what God is “calling” us to do in life] is often due to regarding oneself as an isolated individual, whose “call” must come in some inward manner.

"But in reality we are always bound up in relations with other people; and these relations with our neighbors actually effect our vocation, since these external ties are made by God’s hands. A craftsman’s workshop is like a Bible, in which is written how that person is to conduct himself toward his neighbor. Your tools and your food, your needle and thimble—even your beer-vat—call aloud, 'Use us for the well-being of your neighbor!' Things are the vehicle of the Word of God to us."

From Gustaf Wingren's Luther On Vocation, p. 72, summarizing an aspect of Luther's commentary on the Sermon on the Mount

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