When Working Is Over

Martin J. Heinecken

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 4/1/1984

Issue: Working (Vol. 4, No 2, Spring, 1984)

The question has been raised whether the so-called doctrine of vocation still applies after retirement and, if not, how it needs to be revised. That depends entirely on how that doctrine is conceived. On my understanding of Luther’s view, I think it needs only proper interpretation and application to our day. The key to Luther’s view, as I understand it, is what he called the Standort, the “standing place” in life where a person happens to be by a combination of destiny and freedom (one of the inevitable polarities of all human life: Paul Tillich). Our true “calling” (vocation) is by God’s grace through faith “out of darkness into light,” from not being God’s people to being his chosen people to form the “royal priesthood” of believers (1 Peter 2:9).

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