Pastoral Letter no. 1

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My dear friends:

One of the best books that I've read this year is a new one written by a friend of mine, Steve Garber. For many years, Steve has served as the principal of the Washington Institute, which has had several iterations through the years. Central to his work, though, has been working with young people who come to our nation's capitol in the exploration of faith and vocation. It was in this connection, especially, that I've gotten to know Steve--while I was academic dean at Covenant Seminary, we worked on a project to start a fellows program in partnership with Covenant Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, and sought Steve's advice and direction on how to proceed.

Steve's new book, Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good, is the distillation of thirty years of teaching and reflection on the intersection of faith and vocation. Key to what Steve has to say is this: as Christians, we are empowered by the Gospel to see the world as it is, with all of its pain and difficulty, complexity and ambiguity, beauty and joy; and to love this world in Jesus' name. Further, we are called by God to be responsible for this world, to work for the good of the whole, as a reflection of God's general grace to all humankind. As we do, we serve as signposts of hope, pointing others to the rich, free, particular love of Christ for sinners, the only love that can truly make us and our world new.

It is a very powerful book, valuable not just for high school or college students, but for all of us in our various callings. As we seek to live out the reality of proximate love and justice, pointing to ultimate love and justice that will come in the new heavens and new earth, we live out the reality of grace. We show how the Gospel makes a difference in our daily lives as we pursue our callings in our particular places for Christ's sake. I can't imagine a more important message as we seek to live in this world in this time between the times.

In the grip of God's grace,
Posted December 3, 2014 @ 10:58 AM by Sean Lucas

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