Some early church fathers co-opted pagan holidays and turned them into Christian celebrations. Labor Day is ripe for a Christian takeover. A day that had its origins in the early struggles of the labor union movement is now little more than the last long weekend of summer vacation, a final time to fire up the grill before the fall grind starts up again. But celebrating the human capacity to work is an occasion to recover one of Christianity’s most important, yet nearly forgotten teachings; namely, the doctrine of vocation.
Vocation is nothing less than the theology of the Christian life. It provides the blueprint for how Christians are to live in the world and to influence their cultures. It is the key to strong marriages and effective parenting. According to the classic Protestant theologians, our multiple vocations—in the family, the culture, and the workplace—are where sanctification and discipleship happen.
Gene Veith writes a provocative article in WORLD magazine where he argues for a recovery of the reformation doctrine of vocation. He goes on to say this:
Today many Christians have become disillusioned with political involvement and are floundering for ways to engage the culture. Christians struggle as much as non-Christians with broken marriages and troubled families. The stumbling economy and the pursuit of prosperity seem like materialistic treadmills.
Rediscovering the doctrine of vocation could energize contemporary Christianity and show Christians how once again they can be the world’s salt and light.
You can read the rest of the article here, but I thought this was a timely post as I am in the midst of finishing James Hunter’s seminal work, To Change The World, which deals and asks these very questions of how a Christian can meaningfully and intentionally engage and deal with culture.
More to come over the course of the week. Happy Labor Day to you.