"Our expression 'vocational guidance' comes directly from Luther. God has called men to labor because he labors. He works at common occupations. God is a tailor who makes for the deer a coat that will last for a thousand years. He is a shoemaker who provides boots that the deer will not outlive. God is the best cook, because the heat of the sun supplies all the heat there is for cooking. God is a butler who sets forth a feast for the sparrows and spends on them annually more than the total revenue of the king of France. Christ worked as a carpenter....The Virgin Mary worked, and the most amazing example of her humility is that after she had received the astonishing news that she was to be the mother of the Redeemer, she did not vaunt herself but went back and milked the cows, scoured the kettles, and swept the house like any housemaid. Peter worked as a fisherman ....
As God, Christ, the Virgin the prince of the apostles, and the shepherds labored, even so must we labor in our callings. God has no hands and feet of his own. He must continue his labors through human instruments. The lowlier the task the better. The milkmaid and the carter of manure are doing a work more pleasing to God than the psalm singing of a Carthusian. Luther never tired of defending those callings which for one reason or another were disparaged. The mother was considered lower than the virgin. Luther replied that the mother exhibits the pattern of the love of God, which overcomes sins just as her love overcomes dirty diapers."
from Here I Stand, a Life of Martin Luther, by Roland H. Bainton
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Lessons learned from Luther on the everyday glorifying of God
As a believer, my most frequent prayer, and the prayer I hear my husband pray most frequently as well, is that we will glorify God in all that we do. And though we pray wholeheartedly, and seek to live to that end, we often at the same time wonder what on earth that means, and what it looks like. We've no way to measure, really, whether or how that prayer is being answered. We know we will never be great names like Martin Luther, or John Calvin, or John Wesley, or Charles Spurgeon, or Billy Graham, or John Piper, or ....fill in your favorite if I've left him out. So what does a God-glorifying life look like for ordinary folks like us? And here is where Martin Luther has left us a great legacy - the hope of glorifying God from our place of seeming obscurity.