I had been considering the implications of the realization of identity leading up to the point that I wrote my last blog (“Look, Feel, Act”). I’m increasingly convinced that this realization is imperative for us to know the promises we are afforded. If we don’t take our rightful roles and walk them out, we’ll never know the impact and may even question the validity of the promise.
Sitting in a very large church building on a weekday recently, I noticed the maintenance staff. Nobody was around and they were about the work of cleaning and maintaining the facility. No recognition or audience, just the task at hand. It dawned on me that they may reflect the priesthood even more than those that are on the platform on a Sunday.
The priesthood is not the comparative glamour of the televangelist but the work of tending to the presence of God. The job of the priest was to:
- Build and tend to the fire that was used for the sacrifice
- Slaughter and sacrifice the animals that were used for the sacrifice
- Maintain the tabernacle where the presence of God dwelt
This isn’t about preaching and teaching as much as it about tending and caring for. The first and primary role of the priest is to minister to the Lord. That is to serve Him and His presence. It is to foster and nurture an environment where the presence of God can be experienced by others. The maintenance of the fire and the sacrifice of animals is dirty, bloody and physically demanding. There is nothing glamorous about it.
We have a calling on our lives to minister to the presence of the Lord in the places that we serve. That is a humble and sacrificial role more than anything else and it is a role that we fulfill for the benefit of others. Various venues in which we walk out this purpose include:
- Our homes – where the environment is protected from the distractions of a world seeking to disrupt the peace of His presence. The maintenance of a peaceful refuge of co-habitation with God’s manifest presence is priestly.
- Our families – more than anything else, through serving them. We bless them and honor them to show them the love of Jesus and make a way for them to know Him more intimately through our example.
- Our workplaces – we are invited into various domains of society through our skills and ability. We serve in those arenas and seek to carry the Light of Jesus within us to share with others through respectful and genuine relationships.
- The world – the adventure of the Kingdom is beyond the comfort of the suburbs. When we go to the difficult places, we know the Kingdom with greater insight as we see manifestations of darkness in poverty and challenges that are more prevalent outside of our comfort zone. As priests, we serve those needs.
Be the priest.