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Vocation: Week 4 | Day 6

Everywhere we look, we see a world in desperate need of healing. So where do we even begin? Br. Jim Woodrum invites us to consider mission through the lens of “vocation”: what is the unique way in which you are being called to participate in God’s mission.

Question: What is God’s mission in the world? What is your unique way of participating in that mission?
Share your answer in the comments below or using #5marksoflove
Activity: God Sighting Map


Transcript: The third mark of mission says, “To respond to human need through loving service.”  But where do we begin?  Everywhere we look we see a world that is hurting and in desperate need of healing.  It can often be daunting to even take the first step.  But I think that Jesus gives us a clue in Matthew’s gospel.  You may remember he’s asked, “Which commandment of the law is the greatest?”  And Jesus replies, “To love your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.”  But then he adds a second part that he says is just as important.  He says, “And to love your neighbor as yourself.”

There is a Latin word, vocare, which means to call.  It’s where we get the word vocation.  Walter Brueggemann defines vocation as a purpose for being in the world that is related to the purposes of God.  So one way we might pray with the third mark of mission is first to discern what is the mission of God.  How is God working in the world?  And then the second part would be what is my unique way of participating in God’s mission.

– Br. Jim Woodrum

Question: What is God’s mission in the world?  What is your unique way of participating in that mission?

Week 4 Activity: God Sighting Map
This week, create your own “God Sighting Map,” which locates God’s presence and activity in your surroundings and in your interactions with others. Start close to home, then move out into your neighborhood and community. Who or what has been a sign of God’s love to you today?

Watch Video Guidance | Download Activity as PDF | Sample Completed Activity

14 thoughts on “Vocation: Week 4 | Day 6

  1. I am about to retire after a 25+ year career in federal service and am now looking – and listening – for what my call is for the next chapter. My federal career offered many opportunities to see and be part of God’s mission all over the world. Now I have the opportunity to see, and be a part of God’s mission in my community. I pray that I am able to hear and see the opportunity in the midst of the chaos of transition! My in-laws moved in with us this week, which has added to the chaos, but certainly offers daily opportunities to serve God’s mission of loving others as we love ourselves. I am striving to make them feel that our home is their home. Thanks be to God.

  2. Gods’ mission is to lovingly reclaim what is rightfully his: our love and devotion. A few years ago I designed a tiny 3×2 inch card that said God Loves You with a few prayerfully chosen verses imposed on a gorgeous photo of a beach sunrise. Having printed 2000 for $19!! my goal was to find homes for these tiny messengers wherever I traveled. One day I gave my mothers’ nurse a card and her face lit up and she asked if I had more. Turns out she journeyed back and forth, twice a year, to Africa with shipments of clothes and food for her village. A few weeks later she traveled back there with 500 of those cards to give to friends who handed them out wherever they traveled. I like to think we were both doing what we could do best, for the same love of God.

  3. We spend so much time at work I try to remember that amidst the deadlines we are all still humans doing our best. Kindness and honesty with employees is a way that I try to bring God’s love to the world.

  4. As a mom of Italian heritage my first thought was of John 21:17 and Christ’ “”Feed my sheep.” to Peter. For me, this does require actually feeding those we see that could need to be fed. I love this because it is so easy to do this here at the oceanfront. I always try to have something in my pocket to offer them and love the surprise and thanks that come with it. Doesn’t take much and you are living your heritage and Bible at the same time.

  5. I practice my mission by helping struggling students at my job, volunteering with those less fortunate than myself, and trying to be a source of comfort and support to those I am close to. I know I can always do more, but as I grow older I find my sense of compassion stronger. The world is so full of daily suffering that I want to be of service more than ever.

  6. I participate in God’s mission through serving as an EFM mentor, my community activities that seek to bring neighbors together and strengthen communities, my career (being in Human Resources, I have many opportunities to impact others), church activities and the times I spend with friends. Being positive and seeking to uplift others is how I try to share God’s mission of love.

  7. I live in a retirement center. Many of us have physical needs which are met by qualified medical staff, but……my contribution, as I see it, is to communicate with others in this phase of life, especially to listen to a person, and to focus on what he/she is saying, or thinking at that moment.

  8. I know that God’s Mission is to provide a powerful force for Good to counter the Evil caused by Human Pride ( as opposed to proudness). The downfall of man, our very humanity, was to have so much Pride as to eat the apple against God’s Will; thus Evil began.
    Of the Seven Deadly Sins, Pride is considered to be the original, the most serious, and the source of all the others.
    There are many ways in which I serve his Mission and I should do more. However, the primary way is always for me to pray that “Living One Day at a Time,Thy Will not MIne Be Done”: it is central to the Lord’s prayer and my anchor. I pray that it be the anchor of all out World’s leaders as well before it is too late and Humankind exterminates its self.

  9. What is God’s Mission in this world? I had to think about that question a long time. My first impulse was simply that we humans couldn’t possibly understand the mission of God. But I wasn’t satisfied with that answer. I came back again today and re-watched to the video and re-read the posts above. I Still believe that as a human I can’t truly try to understand what God’s mission is, but as a human, I can at least ascertain what makes sense to me. And what seems to be taking shape that God is still trying to teach us, His children, how to live together in love and obedience. And my part in this is to try to help my fellow humans to understand and embrace God’s love. And demonstrating that you truly can look at the positive, the beautiful, and the love which is in our lives, and that those things can overpower all the ugly, the negative, and the selfishness and hate in the world.

    • “you truly can look at the positive, the beautiful, and the love which is in our lives, and that those things can overpower all the ugly, the negative, and the selfishness and hate in the world”……very well said Stan….I will try and adopt this attitude more fully with God’s guidance.

  10. Thanks for asking these questions, Brother Jim. They made me realize that I for the most part function on the assumption that God’s mission was stated by Jesus in giving the Great Commission. However, as I consider what you have said, I realize that I need to be more concrete in approaching specifics of carrying out the Great Commission. I need to look for what God is telling me is my part in this Great Commission.

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