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Reclaiming the Lordship of Christ through Vocation

Those who follow Christ are responsible for reclaiming the Lordship of Christ in the public arena on various fronts.

The term ‘vocation’ is derived from the Latin term vocationem, which literally means “a being called.” Traditionally, the term was applied for the prophetic office in the Judeo-Christian traditions, and eventually, it has come to be used for those who practice a particular profession. Most
people worldwide associate vocation with one’s status and identity. While the standard  titles:  occupation’, ‘work’ or ‘job’, do not entail any intrinsic value or significance, the term ‘vocation’ signifies a more specific activity one deliberately chooses and prepares for. The primary motive for choosing a vocation is not the monetary benefit or status but a strong inclination towards it, notwithstanding its demands  and cost.

However, the meaning and significance of the concept of ‘vocation’ are facing a
paradigm shift in the current scenario of rapid changes caused by unprecedented global movement and technological revolution in almost every field. Moreover, the world is on the verge of witnessing
AI replacing humans with most of the ‘jobs.’ Numerous studies evince that ‘vocation’ as such no longer exists, nor is it any more a starting point. Instead, it is a destination one reaches through a constant accumulation of experience, which later acquires some value or meaning for the individual. Today, vocation is a onstruct of interest, knowledge, and experiences a person will gather through regular practice. Instead of discovering the unique “calling,” people invent themselves, which is yet
another postmodern relative concept.

Christian perspective on ‘vocation’ is shaped by the Scripture, history, and human experience, which are closely interlinked. The Scripture presents God as the ground of all that exists through His creative activity. It also asserts that God’s plan is unfolded through history. Human beings, created in the image and likeness of God, are endowed with an opportunity to participate in the fulfilment of God’s plan. Therefore, every human who comes into the world, regardless of their varying abilities, gifts
and talents, has a significant role to play in the will of God. All those who engage in any activity that fulfils God’s will in stewardship and sustenance of His created world find fulfilment in all they do.

Any vocation, therefore, perceived through the lens of God’s plan is valuable
and significant. In Bishop Leslie Newbegin’s perspective, the gospel is a “public truth” rather than a private affair. Gospel, as the ‘public truth’, signifies that the Lordship of Christ pervades all facets of human life. One’s commitment and devotion to Christ are reflected in one’s daily practice with the full understanding of nurturing a just and healthy society. The ‘secular’ post-modern
understanding of vocation that excludes the divine is driven by other selfish motives that benefit only a fragment of society. The isolation of the Church and its affairs from the public arena is defeating God’s purposes and plan. Newbegin’s observation decades ago, “If God is driven out, the gods come trooping in,” has become a tangible reality today. Those who follow Christ are responsible for reclaiming the Lordship of Christ in the public arena on various fronts. One of the primary ways of achieving
this is by implementing it at intellectual and pragmatic levels through everyone’s vocation.

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