Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Job or Vocation?

The idea of vocation is central to the Christian belief that God has created each person with gifts and talents oriented toward specific purposes and a way of life. In the broadest sense "Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being". In the broader sense, vocation includes the use of one's gifts in their profession, family life, church and civic commitments for the sake of the greater common good.

A job on the other hand is a paid position of regular employment.

Synonyms for job are occupation, profession, trade, position, career, work, line of work, livelihood, post, situation, appointment, craft. It is interesting that no where in these synonyms for job appears the word vocation.

The question is who are you, what is your identity?

It seems to me that we often confuse who we are as created in God's image with what we do for a living, our job.

So for example if your job is a CPA or a homemaker that is not who you are that is not your identity, that is what you do to earn a living, or what you do to keep a household together.

The danger for us is when we confuse what we do with who we are.

We are created in the image of God. In that creation we are given gifts to identify and use to share God's love with all we meet. Our belief that we are God's creation, our assurance we are loved unconditionally informs our actions and our practice in what we do and how we are with others.

This belief and assurance define us. If we confuse our identify with our job then where are we if we lose our job, hate our job, are waiting for another job, are looking to get back to the job we had.

Our identity, our vocation, who we are is with us every minute of every day. We are always able to be ourselves, to share the love of God with others, to rest in that assurance of being unconditionally loved. Our identity, our life does not go on hold if we are looking for a job, waiting for an answer about a job, having trouble finding a job. Our job does not define us nor does it change our identity or God's love for us.

Don't miss out on your life waiting for a job or hating the one you have. "Don’t miss the moment. The invitation for living life is in the present moment where God is going to be most present to you and with you, within you and around you, is now. And if there is to be a tomorrow, you’re going to need today to prepare you for tomorrow. Don’t cut in line."

Today's Reading: John 15: 1-27

Jesus the True Vine
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed[ak] by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
The World’s Hatred
18 “If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘Servants are not greater than their master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. 21 But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 It was to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. 27 You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.

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