Have you emailed disaster at lcms.org yet to request your free book, The Mercy of God in the Cross of Christ: Essays on Mercy in Honor of Glenn Merritt? Hop to. It’s well worth it. I was able to contribute two essays to it, one particularly to honor Rev. Merritt and his dedication to vocation in mercy work: “Called to Help: Vocation in Mercy Work.”
It was a bit difficult to write the essay, because, to be honest, mercy work is in every vocation. At the same time, we often think of particular vocations in mercy work, like first responders, medical personnel, etc. How do you write in such a way that you are appropriately broad while thanking and encouraging participation in the more narrow sense, too?
Hopefully I pulled it off. 🙂
Still, I bring it up particularly today because I want you to think about the relationship between vocation and mercy work. Is writing merciful? To what extent is writing a vocation—an external opportunity and relationship through which we serve our neighbors in love? To what extent is the presence and work of God involved?
I won’t spoil the fun and answer all those questions for you. Rather, I’d like to emphasize that mercy and love overlap so much more than people often think. It is merciful to do a good job within any vocation, just as it is loving.
I fear modern society understands mercy as little as it understands love. Thankfully, believers receive God’s love and mercy and learn of it through Word and Sacrament—even to lesser degrees through neighbors/vocation and the rest of creation.
God is so great. He is so merciful!
By all means consider the role and elements of vocation in mercy work. Help yourself and your neighbors by considering disasters that could come (HT Glenn Merritt).
Also, write mercifully, whether in fiction or non-fiction, in loving service to your neighbor and in faithful trust toward God. 🙂