Why The Masks You Wear Are A Blessing To Others

In the name of Jesus. Amen. 

I have been so very blessed this past year by God.  God has spoken to me hundreds of times this past year.  God has spoken to me audibly about my sin and His forgiveness.  God has also fed me by giving me food.  He has sheltered me, and He has given me clothes to wear.  Finally, God has protected me this past year.  He has kept me safe and free from harm.

Now you may be wondering if I am crazy and how God did all these wonderful things.  It is quite simple; God did these things for me through various people operating in the three estates. 

You see, when God speaks to you, He chooses to do so through Pastors who serve you in the estate of the church.  Contrary to what the charismatics believe, God likes to keep it simple, so He speaks plainly and directly to you through His Word preached by pastors. 

God also has fed you and me.  He has provided food for us through the vocation of farmers.  Farmers – who function in the estate of the family - plant the grains, harvest the fields, and raise cattle.  Through the farmer in the estate of the family, God produces food for you and me. 

Finally, God has protected you and me.  You are alive, safe, and protected from evil because God works through police officers, sheriff departments, and the military to make arrests of criminals, disrupt the plans of terrorism, and keep things peaceful.  Through the calling of our government officials, God is granting you and me protection, order, and justice.  He does this through the sphere of the state. 

Now what is being described to you is what is called the doctrine of ‘vocation.’  The word vocation essentially means “calling.”  And so, we can say that God in His providence has called each and every one of us to an area where we can serve our neighbor with good works.  And as mentioned last week, these good works have been divided into three spheres of the Family, State, and Church. 

Martin Luther once said that our vocations are ‘masks of God.’  And so, God works through mankind to provide for and care for His creation.  God cares for children through the mask of parents in the estate of the family.  He protects citizens through the mask of police officers in the sphere of the state. And, He cares for the baptized through the mask of pastors in the estate of the church.  

And so, when you see a police officer making an arrest of a bad guy, we can say,

“God be praised. Thank you, Lord, for working through that officer and providing safety for me through the estate of the government.” 

When a dad comes home and hugs his worried daughter, we can say, 
“God be praised.  Thank you Lord for working through the father to provide mercy and care to the young child in the estate of the family.”

And when a pastor comes to you in the hospital and sings a hymn, prays with you, and gives you communion, you can say,

“God be praised.  Thank you, Lord, for working through the pastor to give me grace, assurance, and salvation through the estate of the church."

Now, in order to bless His creation, God, through His sovereignty and through the events of your life forms, shapes, and calls you to a particular vocation within a particular estate.  That is to say; God has created you with specific gifts, has placed you in a particular place, and called you to responsibilities in particular vocations.  And so, your vocations come about from opportunities and circumstances around you that are orchestrated by God’s sovereignty.  Loosely stated, you do not choose your vocations; they choose you.  

So, the day that you were baptized, you became a part of the estate of the church.  The day that you were married is the day that you started your vocation as a husband in the family.  The day that you became pregnant is the day that you started your vocation as a mother.  The day you were born in an American hospital was the day you became a citizen. 

Furthermore, as life goes on, you will find and have found that you have joy in particular things more than others.  Some of you have found that you have the disposition to protect and to keep others safe, which has led you to the military – the sphere of the state.  Others of you have found vocations that fall within the family – bankers, farmers, teachers, and so forth.  And some from our church have found a love for theology and service, which will lead them to be pastors in the church.  The point being, God, not only enables us to do good works, but He gives us the opportunity to serve our neighbor with good works in our vocations in the state, family, and church.   

It all is really a tremendous gift – an amazing gift!  We are ‘called’ to simply walk in good works that have been prepared in advance for us! 

Now, it very important to keep in mind several things.  First, your vocations – the masks of God that you wear – will vary and be different.  Not everyone is a police officer.  Not everyone is a military airman.  Not everyone is a pastor.  Not everyone is a deaconess.  Not everyone is a mother.  Not everyone is a teacher.  We all have various masks that we wear, but in the end, all of our vocations are for the service of one another. 

Secondly, it is important to note that all three estates are godly and good.  This means that your vocations are godly and good as well.  And so, the oil worker in the oil patch is doing a godly work just as godly as a monk praying in a monastery.  A mother caring for her child and a dad changing a diaper are doing a godly work just as godly as a military person at war.  A person making a shoe is doing a godly work just as godly as the pastor serving communion to a dying person.  They are all godly vocations in godly estates because they are orchestrated by God – they are masks of God – to serve and bless His creation.  

And finally, these vocations are meant for service, not power and control.  If you find yourself in a vocation that has power and control, that power and control is not for you but to be used to serve and bless your neighbor.  Remember, you are a mask of God in your vocation, and our Lord Jesus Christ was not born unto us to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.  The estates are intended to give mercy, protection, and grace – to serve.  And you, as a part of the Lord’s order – are called to serve your neighbor as well, because this is the nature of our God.  He is a giver, provider, and sustainer.  Not a ruthless taker. 

Last week we heard about each of these estates and the importance of how each estate should keep in its own lane.  This week we have heard about the blessings of each of these estates – how they are ways in which God blesses us. 

So, dear friends, rejoice this day how God is at work in our lives, calling us to our vocations as moms, dads, children, farmers, ranchers, bankers, homemakers, oil workers, students, citizens, teachers, church members, deaconesses, pastors, secretaries, policemen, Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers, Marines, and so forth.  The Lord is at work calling us into our vocations so that we can simply walk in the good works that He has prepared in advance for us.  Good works that are meant to serve and bless our neighbors in the estates of the family, state, and church. 

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

CLICK HERE to 'Like' on Facebook
CLICK HERE to 'Follow' on Twitter
CLICK HERE to Subscribe on iTunes

CLICK HERE to Subscribe on Podbean