In England, during the 17th century, kings and queens would switch the national religion from Catholicism and Protestant. The constant switch between religions resulted in the Civil War in England and caused many people to rebel and flee for religious freedom. At this time, many reformers discovered new ideas and redefined the roles of occupation, vocation, and theological topics. One of the more moderate voices of the time, who sought compromise, was George Herbert (209).
George Herbert wrote The Temple, or The Country Parson. His work talked about the roles of a pastor and the role of the common people to live out a life that is pleasing to Christ and use their occupation to fulfill vocation. George Herbert’s excerpted in Callings included three chapters. Chapter 32: The Parson’s survey stated that idleness is a disease that causes one to stumble and fall away. He also mentioned that one can please God and incorporate Him in all facets of life. The Honors class incorporates Christ in many, if not all, subjects that are learned. The Gospel predominates in the Honors classroom to illustrate to the students that Christ can be incorporated in classes (or future occupations) to glorify Him in science, math, technology, or art. The Honors class also gives students the opportunity to attend convocations, recitals, conferences, and plays. These events facilitate the fulfillment of the calling the Honors class has to be active, busy, and supportive students.
George Herbert’s writing was not clear and caused many students to feel uneasy about his writing. However, he was telling his audience and the contemporary audience that one can serve God in whatever task he or she is being called to. Half of the Honors class is planning on working in a secular setting after graduation. George Herbert would say that having these occupations are acceptable, and Christ can still be incorporated in the workplace. He wrote in Chapter 32: The Parson’s Survey, the more an individual makes, the more he or she can give to the poor. As Christians, we are called to love God. He wants us to put our talents and gifts to good use. However, as George Herbert would state, idleness is a disease that causes people to stumble in his or her faith. To avoid idleness today, we can read the Bible, pray, go to church, and participate in a devotion. These exercises of the faith help us grow and stay busy in God’s Word. It makes us stronger so that, in all that we do, we can incorporate Christ in our lives to spread the good news.
George Herbert had some good insight that helps Christians who plan on working in a secular setting to bring their riches and service to God by helping others. A personal insight I gained was preparing for a calling. At my service site in the Washington County jail, women sit idly waiting to get out and be discharged. Some women sit around not exercising physically, spiritually, or mentally. However, the women who attend the Bible studies say every week that they read the Bible, pray, participate in devotions, and share the love of Christ with one another. Although they are idle, sitting in jail without an occupation, I believe the women are being called to prepare themselves through the contemplative life to strengthen their faiths before reentering society.
As a student, I can relate to the women in jail in that aspect of preparation. I believe God is calling me to become a Director of Christian Education, but in the meantime, God is preparing me to read the Bible, pray, do devotions, and go to Bible studies. As Lutherans, we know our vocation stretches to all areas of our life, even familial. Some of my family does not believe in God, which can be awkward at family reunions because I want to work in a Church. Through my vocation as a Christian, my calling is to love my family with a Christian love.