Professor Hanvik on “called” and “calling”
In the middle of yesterday’s (8/5/12) conversation about being called (to know Christ, to be holy as our God is holy) and calling (to be a wife, a husband, a father, a mother, a member of the choir, a member of the Altar Guild, an intercessor in prayer, a team member working in the food distribution ministry, a neighbor, a co-worker, a teacher and you get the idea) I read this from Professor Hanvik in his commentary on Ephesians 4:1-16
Paul pairs the words “called” and “callings” in two different places in the passage (4:1 and 4:4). The reader is reminded of the relationship between our being called by God and the subsequent assignment of a calling in the world. The language of calling links the church with the election of Israel. God has chosen for himself (1:4) a people and this election depends firmly on God’s decision. It is done “before the foundation of the world” (1:4) and it relies solely on God’s gracious initiative (2:8). And the result of being called is that the faithful now have callings where they lead lives marked by humility, love and patience (4:2).
It is easy to get confused about the dual nature of a call. It is worth underlining that being called and having a calling must be distinguished but never separated. Our relationship with God simultaneously involves a relationship with neighbor or community. And these callings are multiple as it is impossible for a Christian to not be in some type of calling at all times of life.
Just as God is active in every nook and cranny of creation so God uses his people to make sure people are fed, clothed, comforted, educated, protected, etc. Proclaimers would be wise to remind listeners that a calling should not be pared down to a job or occupation. This would mean wide stretches of human experience would be outside of God’s providence. God calls us not only to work but to friendship, family life, citizenship, etc. —WorkingPreacher.com for August 5, 2012
It was a terrific conversation. Thank you. I learned a lot. Please continue the conversation here using the Comment section which follows the post. Bless you, dear reader, bless you as you bless others by exercising the ministries to which you have been called.