John 1:35-51; 1 Chronicles 9; Haggai 1:1-2:23
“For in this trusted office were four chief gatekeepers; they were Levites. And they had charge over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God. And they lodged all around the house of God because they had the responsibility, and they were in charge of opening it every morning.” (1 Chronicles 9:26-27 NKJV)
The Levites were God’s priests in ancient Israel. If you were to ask most people what the job of a priest was, though, you could get many different answers. I always thought that since worship revolved around the sacrifices, that the priests had the task of accepting and preparing the sacrifices. This passage in 1 Chronicles set me straight. There were loads of tasks that needed to be done in and around the Temple. Some opened the doors. Others brought out the vessels used. My guess is that they were in charge of washing the dishes later that night. Some made sure the furnishings were in good shape. Others prepared spices, baked, took care of the wine and the spices, and all the other little things that needed to be done that aren’t noticed, unless they aren’t done. Some were the singers whose only job was to sing, and they needed to do that all day long. While we might elevate the high priest in his position, we can’t minimize the work that each of these other priests did.
As we look at this idea from a Christian perspective, Peter taught us that we were all priests in God’s kingdom. Usually we hear that idea and we think about being the mediator so that others can come to know Jesus. That is so true, but it misses a large part of the jobs we have as priests in the church. To make a long list short, the work of a priest is anything done to further the work of God’s kingdom. Whether it be changing babies in the nursery, welcoming visitors, or preaching sermons inside the building. Whether it be parachurch work on college campuses, worship leader on the radio, or, as I humbly seek to be, a writer publishing guides to help people grow in their faith. Lest we think about looking down on any of the work done to promote the Kingdom of God, imagine what would happen if the custodians didn’t clean the church for a month. All those jobs, and more, are “priestly” vocations in the kingdom of God and should be treated with honor. Do what God called you to do in furthering His Kingdom and rejoice that what you do is important in building the kingdom – whether others see you or not.
Lord, Your Kingdom deserves the best from all Your followers – all Your priests. Empower me to serve in Your Kingdom and to approach each task with joyful expectation of how You will use it to grow Your Kingdom.