With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 2 Thessalonians 1:11
This verse speaks of our calling. But what is that calling – what are we called to do? First and foremost, we are called to Christ, to accept his invitation, to receive his love and forgiveness, and to follow him. But what then are we called to do? What is the calling (vocation) in which we bring our good desires and deeds ‘to fruition’?
For many people, the word ‘vocation’ refers to certain special careers, often in the so-called caring professions, such as church minister, nurse, doctor, schoolteacher, or missionary. But that can leave the rest of us wondering whether we have a calling to the work we do.
For the past forty years or so, I have been privileged to work as a scientist, teaching university students and doing research on DNA. Is that a worthy calling and vocation? I say ‘yes’, and I would also say this for almost all other professionals, including accountants, homemakers, builders, cleaners and business leaders. We all have the privilege and responsibility to seek to establish Gods’ kingly rule over everything that we do.
For me this has involved studying God’s works in the things God has created and which declare God’s glory, and to pass this knowledge on to others. Not in any overly ‘spiritual’ way, but simply acknowledging that ‘Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who have pleasure in them’ (Psalm 111:2), for it is in Christ that ‘all things hold together’ (Colossians 1:17).
I see no conflict, therefore, between science and faith. I regard it is a privilege, rather than as a threat to faith, to work as a Christian scientist. But every sphere of expertise can represent a worthy calling if we show what it means to live as people created in God’s image and redeemed by Christ in that sphere. In whatever they do, each Christian has a daily opportunity to live and work in ways that are worthy of Christ.
Give thanks for the daily work God has called you to do. Reflect on how you can do this in a more worthy fashion, reflecting more clearly the values of God’s kingdom.
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified: hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people, that in their vocation and ministry they may serve you in holiness and truth to the glory of your name; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Collect for the ministry of all Christian people, Common Worship.
For inspirational material on living for God in every area of our lives (including in our work), see the LICC website, such as ‘A fruitful life’
This post was first published on the God on Monday blog, which is produced by Faith in Business in partnership with the Church of England, and is reproduced here with permission of the editor.