During Martin Luther’s time in the 1500’s monks, nuns, and priests were seen as the only people who had a vocation, for they were called to a higher life in which the purpose of a vocation is preparing the soul for the next life. And the forgiveness sins was something that was worked for not freely given. And Jesus was viewed as a judge. In order for ones sins to be forgiven they had to perform the sacrament of penance, which was a part of confession, where sins are confessed then a “penance” is assigned for a satisfaction of the sins to be made. The degree of the penance varied in correspondence to the severity of the sin. Because of penance it was very difficult for anyone who was not a monk, nun, or priest to fully receive forgiveness, for no matter how hard they tried they could never do enough good works that were good enough. And with that Martin Luther began to question the understanding of vocation in the church.
In chapter two of Martin Luther and the Called Life Luther’s reforming views on vocation are explained and how Luther came to his understanding. And it is those views that we have today, that vocation is serving God in every accept of live, no matter occupation.
Martin Luther came to a new understanding of vocation during his time in the monastery. His understanding of vocation is that everyone has a vocation, and that vocation is the serving of God in every aspect of life. Luther also came to realize that everyone has for than one calling. Luther explains that everyone has a vocation because no matter of ones occupation God is still being served. And those who’s occupations are outside of the church are able to have vocations because they do not have to work to earn forgiveness, but their work is service to God they are forgiven.
My major in Computer Science with a minor in mathematics, and I am in the honors program at Concordia, which most members are church work majors. In fact the all members of the freshman Mu class are not church work majors, and all most of sophomore members are church work majors which puts them at an advantage when discussing theology but that does not mean they’re closer to God than the freshman. That is not the attitude they have by any means, the sophomore class is actually extremely helpful. And chapter three of Martin Luther and the Called Life taught me that just because I am not a church work major doesn’t not mean I can’t devote my life to Christ. My understanding of being a Christian is to be hands and feet of God, to show kindness and compassion and forgiveness to all those I encounter in life. Regardless of occupation God can be served in every walk of life.