Priesthood of All Believers Take Three
Consider the final verse we have been centering around..."Called as Partners in Christ's Service".
4. So God grant us for tomorrow
Ways to order human life
That surround each person's sorrow
With a calm that conquers strife.
Make us partners in our living,
Our compassion to increase,
Messengers of faith, thus giving
Hope and confidence and peace.
I love that the ordering of human life is first and foremost to the struggle and suffering and sorrow in the world. Our shared humanity is often borne out of a sense of brokenness first...then blessedness. I often think that Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (although misunderstood) points to this when he starts off with the 'Blessed are the poor...those who mourn...those who suffer". When we find our shared humanity in struggle, we suddenly can move from the "us" verses "them" mentality. We can move from judging, because we identify with the "other" in ways we had never seen. Once you see, you cannot unsee. Once you learn, you cannot unlearn. You may forget. You may get lost and leave something behind. But in the end, what brings us together is struggle. Which is why I find the above image so compelling. Different people from different places and with differing perspectives forming a cross...a symbol of brokenness and pain. Christ facing the cross was one of the deepest ways he showed his humanity. When we surround each other's sorrows...our compassion can be increased. Compassion is not just about comprehension. We often want to intellectualize issues such as homelessness or joblessness or death. We use words when what is really being called for is listening. We pontificate and politicize rather than pause and enter into the pain. Compassion is the deepest part of us. Felt in our very gut or bowels. In those vulnerable moments of entering suffering and strife and sorrow that is where we are messengers of faith...not when we grab a bullhorn and start shouting at people or knocking on doors or even inviting them to church. Compassion is the doorway to ministry and we are all called to walk through that doorway into the life of another.
I pray that looking at these words and letting them speak/sing to your life has helped you wrap your mind and heart and soul around the call of the "priesthood of all believers". I pray you felt the affirmation that YOU are called by God. I pray you felt the permission to go forth and be a blessing to others. I pray you will seek out ways to serve and show compassion. I pray that YOU will realize the truth that together we are all a royal priesthood called to work/labor/be collaborators with God in such a time as this.
Grace and peace ~~