Our 2010 Winter Retreat will be taking place exactly one month from now. Traditionally, the Winter Retreat has had a specific focus that was discussed over the course of multiple sessions. For example, last year we spent a weekend hearing from Dane Ortlund on the subject of Christian Motivation. That weekend’s call to look solely to the Gospel for fuel in our Christian life is still ringing in my ears as well as the ears of many others who attended. In other years we’ve focused on other topics such as “Purity”, “The Beauty of God and Jesus” and “Why on Earth Am I Here on Earth?” Each of these weekends has been a great blessing in the life of the ministry and has been a reference point for attendees for years to come. We are praying that this year’s retreat, focusing on Vocation, will be no different.
If you’re confused by the topic choice or unsure of its relevance, just read this quote by Gene Veith, author of the book God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life, on vocation and what he learned from Martin Luther’s ‘exposition of vocation.’
Vocation isn’t so much about what I do, but about what God does through me. Vocation is nothing less than the theology of the Christian life. God calls us to live out our faith in the world, in the ordinary-seeming realms of the family, the workplace, and the culture. The purpose of every vocation is to love and serve our neighbors, whom God brings to us in our everyday callings. Wingren shows that vocation is also about God’s presence in the world–which He providentially cares for through ordinary people, believers and non-believers alike–and about Christ’s presence in our neighbor. Luther’s exposition of vocation is imminently practical, offering a framework for how Christians can work out their problems in their various callings. It is the key to successful marriages and effective parenting. It also solves that much-vexed question for evangelicals today of how they are to interact with the culture.