Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. (Eph 6:5-8)

“Woe to you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.” (Mt 23:27)

Whitewashed Tomb

Smells bad inside

Lutherans hold to the doctrine of vocation, which is loosely to say that what we do we do in service to the Lord, each of us a part of God’s care for this creation It’s a comfort because it says: not everybody has to be a missionary or a clergyman. We serve God as fathers and mothers, as grandparents, as programmers and as waitresses. In all of these things, we are in the profession where God has placed us to serve him. We need not be rich, or beautiful, or athletic, or popular. We don’t even need to think about success, instead we think about how we can serve the Lord best in what we are doing. Even the humblest activities count.

The “Whitewashed tombs” reference is self explanatory.  Jesus is handing out seven woes to the scribes and pharisees. He condemns that their external righteousness belies their internal unrighteousness. These sorts of things all men understand and condemn

Where do the two ideas come together? They come together at 3:30 in the morning when cleaning up after a dog with diarrhea. The idea of one’s vocation including cleaning up after “the dog you gave me” (as Adam might have put it) and doing so “as to the Lord” is a comforting one. I’d much rather be cleaning up after God’s dog than my own.

And whoever thought that a dog that could smell perfectly fine on the outside could smell so utterly awful on the inside?

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