Friday, August 04, 2006

I'm Back...Well Maybe

Been gone to help with the Katrina clean up. You can check out what we did at our Katrina blog, complete with pictures. It was quite a trip, and except for not missing the heat and humidity, I'm ready to go back and serve again.

So, now at the life here.

Came back to the work of children's ministry at a local Christian camp, and to the task as saying "farewell" to my friend and associate Pastor Jon Ditty and wife Tracie. I will miss them both a lot, and am a little amazed at the sense of loss we are all feeling.

I find myself working to "wrap-up" our two week race through Leviticus (Yes, Dan-o, two weeks, I know that must be driving you nuts! ;o)) Anyway, giving that this coming Sunday is our Communion Sunday for the month, I am going to be focusing upon two key aspects from the book. First, the Day of Atonement, and how we find it fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! Hallelujah! And second, the role of the priest as intercessor for the nation.

This past week I have had the privileged to sit under the teaching of an OT Prof from Asbury College. She has been giving a great overview of the book of Isaiah. I have learned lots! One of the things covered was the stated roles of prophets, kings, and priests.

It struck me, that in our present "evangelical" view of Christendom we have intermingled these roles, when we raise up the idea of the "priesthood of all believers." The common understanding is that this priesthood means we really don't "need" each other because we all have equal access to the throne of God. Now I do believe that we have this access, but not to the exclusion of each other, but rather for the intercession for each other.

The church today really doesn't have a place for "kings" (though I have witnessed a few church people seeking to raise themselves to that status). I do see that the "office" of prophet is fulfilled, at least in part through the role of pastor/teacher. But the role of priest is what we all do. It is the role of bringing the sacrifice (of praise?) before the Lord and the bringing bowls of incense (prayers of the saints).

It is to this role I believe we need to return. The atoning work of Christ is complete. The curtain has been rent, and the access has been granted, and the priest can (must) enter in.

May we so boldly enter.


Anonymous said...

WHA...??? You... Two?? TWO??? But... what about... OH! The Whole Burnt Offering! The... the Sin Offering! How could you... Wha!... TWO??!! The Wave Offering!! GAAA!! Only one week on the Day of Atonement???!! NOOO!! You're kidding!!! ARRRGGGHH!!

Well, I hope you had fun at least...

I'll write more when I've caught my breath. TWO?! Grrrr...


Anonymous said...

Hebrews 4:16 is one of my favorite passages. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Have you ever seen one of those effervescent Christians that get on most people’s (even other Christian’s) nerves because they are so radiant? While I do think they need to learn how to tone it down a bit when they are talking to other people who haven’t yet seen the light to that extent or when they are talking to people who are grieving due to some tragic loss, I suspect that their effervescence probably comes from the fact that they have truly had a glimpse of the glorious riches Christ offers all of us not only in the hereafter, but in the here and now.

Do we dare feel really good about ourselves not because of anything that we have said or done, but because of what Christ has done for us? Can we hold our head up high, shoulders back, and stand tall not because we measure up but because he measured up for us? Do we believe that only thing we need to do is trust in him, rest and relax knowing that we are going from radiance to radiance as he transforms us into his image? Do we truly know that it is already finished, and we have been set completely free?

Having been born into the world under a curse of guilt and shame, how can we do anything but praise him when we realize that that shameful curse has been replaced with the blessing of his righteousness and we now have the privilege of walking boldly and fearlessly into the Holy of Holies because the purest sacrifice imaginable has already been made once and for all.

The more we comprehend what he really has done for us, and the more boldly we can walk into the holy of holies in that confidence, the more likely we are to overflow with praise. By meditating upon what he has done for us, I believe we all have the ability to become one of those effervescent, slightly irritating Christians that tend to get on other people’s nerves.