Angels and Vocation

Anthony Carter quotes a book quoting Luther on what Mary was doing when the angel appeared to her (Luke 1:26-33):

Quite possibly Mary was doing the housework when the angel Gabriel came to her.  Angels prefer to come to people as they are fulfilling their calling and discharging their office.  The angel appeared to the shepherds as they were watching their flocks, to Gideon as he was threshing the grain, to Samson’s mother as she sat in the field.  Possibly, however, the Virgin Mary, who was very religious, was in a corner praying for the redemption of Israel.  During prayer, also, the angels are wont to appear (from Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus, ed., Nancy Guthrie).

Yes, during prayer and other spiritual exercises, but contemplate that second sentence for awhile. It’s when we are fulfilling our vocations–as spouse, parent, citizen, worker–that angels “prefer” to come to us and that God works with and through us most powerfully.

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About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Jonathan

    For some have entertained angels without knowing it…probably while acting in their vocation.

  • Jonathan

    For some have entertained angels without knowing it…probably while acting in their vocation.

  • Jerry

    Zechariah was fulfilling his vocation in the Holy of Holies. It was difficult for him even there to believe.

  • Jerry

    Zechariah was fulfilling his vocation in the Holy of Holies. It was difficult for him even there to believe.

  • http://www.lambert-blog.com Dave Lambert

    A wonderful quote. I do have a question that may reflect my weak knowledge of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. Doesn’t God work with and through us most powerfully when we receive his Word and Sacrament in the Divine Service?

  • http://www.lambert-blog.com Dave Lambert

    A wonderful quote. I do have a question that may reflect my weak knowledge of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. Doesn’t God work with and through us most powerfully when we receive his Word and Sacrament in the Divine Service?

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    Yes, Dave. And God works through the pastor, in his vocation, to give us His gifts in the Word and Sacrament. And we laypeople are there in our callings in the church.

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    Yes, Dave. And God works through the pastor, in his vocation, to give us His gifts in the Word and Sacrament. And we laypeople are there in our callings in the church.

  • http://www.lambert-blog.com Dave Lambert

    Thank you Professor Veith for your response. I look forward to reading your blog posts every week!

  • http://www.lambert-blog.com Dave Lambert

    Thank you Professor Veith for your response. I look forward to reading your blog posts every week!


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