To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
Priests to Serve
Today when we hear the word “priest,” we may picture someone wearing a black shirt with that one-of-a-kind clerical collar. We may think of someone being addressed as “Father.” Yet in these verses from the book of Revelation, the title “priest” does not strictly apply to Roman Catholic clergy. It applies to every believer.
Permit a little history to complete the picture. For Old Testament Israel, God had established an order of priests. Their role was to serve as the intermediaries between God and his people. Why? God is holy. His people are not. Holiness and sin do not mix. So, if the people were to offer to God the gifts, offerings, prayers, and sacrifices he commanded, they would do so through the priest. They could not offer God anything on their own. They needed a priest.
Jesus has changed all that. We do not need priests to go between us and God anymore, because Jesus loves us to such an extent that he offered his holy life as the payment for our sins. We are neither slaves nor prisoners to our sin any longer. We are free. When God looks at his people, he doesn’t see their sin. He sees the holiness of his Son, Jesus.
As a result of that, all believers are not just “members” of the Holy Christian Church, Jesus has made us all priests. We get to offer gifts to God ourselves. We do so not just in giving money to church or charity. We do this when we, ourselves, go to God in prayer, when we help those who need it, when we provide for those under our care, when we treat others with love and respect. He transforms our lives so that every day in what we do, we serve him. He has made us priests to serve.
Prayer:(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 469)
Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee. Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise.
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