Monday, July 28, 2008

Vocation and Eschatology

For two weeks I was a mentor at the Duke Youth Academy for Christian Formation at Duke Divinity School
It was an amazing ride. I am just now getting my feet back under me. We worshipped each night. Prayed each morning. Studied every day. Reflected in most spare moments. Worked late. Ate often. Bathed when necessary.

On the last day of lectures, Friday, I was given the task of writing about the lecture. Here are my notes:

Vocation and Eschatology

In our final plenary gathering Dr. Warren Smith taught us to merge our thinking about Vocation (God's call on our life now) and Eschatology (the end-times that await us). He merged the two in the claim that we are to live hopefully. As Christians who remember and participate in Christ's Incarnation, Crucifixion, and Resurrection we are called to live lives that are a present witness to the hope of the coming kingdom of God.

What is hope? Our hope is the object of our calling that points to God's final purposes for the world. We need to live in such a way that we are prepared for future lives in the resurrection. We don't live just for now. We live with an eye for the future. In terms of our vocation we must think less of a job which we choose, but a job for which we are chosen. Further, vocation is not necessarily something that you are seeking out, but something that God seeks out for you.

Dr. Smith conveyed that the most important dogma that we must agree on regarding Eschatology is that Christ was raised bodily from the dead and we will be raised bodily. Though we hear so often about Rapture, how Christ will come again, and the Millenium, these issues are surrounded by questions where the Church has not had full agreement. We should always turn our attention first to the cental issues of Resurrection--Christ's and our own.

What does bodily resurrection mean for us? Jesus' resurrection becomes the prototype for our resurrection. His resurrection inaugurates the period of resurrection. This doctrine means that in light of Jesus having been raised from the dead, Christian's grieve death with hope--the hope that looks forward to when we will all be redeemed.

Finally, Dr. Smith offered some wonderful and heartfelt comments regarding marriage and sex and reminded us the neither are acts that will be included as part of our final redemption. Therefore, we are given the gift of patience when considering either in our own lives. Not all are called to marriage and sex and a culture that says otherwise is a culture that Christians must stand over and against. Both are a reminder that God has made us in God's own image, and that neither will part of our final redemption when we are equal to the angels as sons and daughters of the resurrection (Lk 20:36).

Possible Quotes:

"Your hearts are the eyes of your soul." Warren Smith (inspired by Eph 1).

"This is a pregnant passage and I am going to try to help Paul give birth." Warren Smith walking us through Romans 8:18-25

When we look at Jesus resurrected on Easter morning, we don't just see one man raised from the dead, (we could have looked to Lazarus for the raising of just one man), but in Jesus we see the entire humanity raised from the dead." Warren Smith
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