The Compartmentalized Life

What does if mean to live a compartmentalized life?  It means we are one person at work/school, another at home, another in sports or clubs, another with our extended family, another at church, and yet another as we live out our civic lives.  But God invites us to live lives centered in Christ.  That life centered in Christ has three core claims:

  1. God creates and calls us to live in an integrated and interconnected way, holding faith in Christ at the center.
  2. Vocation, the call to be God’s hands and feet, bridges the gap we often feel between Sunday worship and Monday-Saturday life. 
  3. Our vocation is lived out in the many roles/arenas of daily life—family, occupation, citizen, neighbor, and the list goes on. 

Let’s start with that list—what are the varied rolls you inhabit?  Grab a pen and start writing all your rolls.  An example from my life is, I am: husband, father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin. But as a cousin I am a cousin in three different systems (Ferris, Svangstu, and Carlson). Take time and make your list.

Look at your list, all of these roles/arenas pull us to be a different person.  In some roles we feel drastically different, in others just ever so slightly.  This is what is meant by the Compartmentalized Life—we have all these different roles and we are lead to believe that they need their own compartment.  Vocation bridges all of our roles.  Vocation empowers us to live as integrated whole beings. With Christ as our center we are free to move in and out of the different roles while always being who we are—a Child of God.

Vocation Small Groups

Vocation Small Groups

Henry has been reading for his Vocation small group. Join him in reflecting on how we are claimed by God’s love and called into service for the thriving of neighbor and world. Sunday 10a or Wednesday 6:15p at Peace Lutheran Plymouth.

What will the Vocation small groups discuss? Grace & vocation.

God already loves you. You can’t do anything to make God love you more than God already loves you right this minute. God has already claimed you and called you. As it says in the verses from Isaiah 43, “I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine…You are precious in my sight…and I love you.” You don’t have to prove or earn anything! This is where we, as Lutherans, start: with God’s action towards us.

If we don’t have to worry about our own status with God – if God already loves and accepts us – then we are free to turn outward and love our neighbor. We are free to love because God first loved us.

In Matthew 22:37-39 we hear Jesus lay out the cornerstones of his ministry: love God, love your neighbor. Jesus even suggests that these two are connected. The love we have from God and for God plays out in the love we share with those around us.

So you see, the whole idea of “vocation,” how God invites us to live as God’s people in this world, starts with God’s love for us. How we respond to that love, then, is our vocation, our calling! And that vocation or calling is lived out in a variety of ways and in a number of different roles in each of our lives: as a parent or spouse, as a teacher or business person, as a neighbor or volunteer.