To the church universal and the church local, grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior.  I thank God for the opportunity to serve in the ministry to which all of us are called as the redeemed.  My daily prayer is one of great thanksgiving for each of you and for the Spirit that empowers all of us to answer the high calling of God upon our lives.

For centuries the universal body of Christ has struggled with its identity.  Is there a distinction between clergy and laity that creates a divide in calling and capability?  Or is there truly a “priesthood of all believers” as intimated by Martin Luther in his writing of 1520 titled To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation?

If scripture is our litmus test then 1 Peter 2:9 answers the question for us:

“…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

The author speaks to a broad audience that is the followers of Jesus Christ.  But what does the author mean by “chosen” and “priesthood?”  Is God calling some to fulfill a special role?  No.  Rather God is inviting all to be servants in His emerging kingdom.  God is empowering His church with the Spirit and gifts needed to be his transformation agents in this world.  This is not a task for one or a few – it is the calling of the masses.

The modern church has to come to grips with this.  We all have to (not should…have to) heed the call of God to come and lay down our game plan for our lives and take up his cross.  This requires sacrifice.

For the church universal and local to reach its fullest potential we will all have to sacrifice – from our youngest to our oldest member, each according to their gifts – we will have to sacrifice.

I have come to the conclusion that our biggest hurdle is this:  the struggle between the ideology that “my church exists for my needs” and “the church exists for the transformation of the world.”  If we give into the first, then we are nothing more than users of each others gifts, time, talent, and relationship.  But if we truly believe in the later, then we are givers of our gifts, time, talent, and relationship.

The universal and local church has but one mission – to give it all away!  Oh and you cannot straddle the fence on this – you are either a giver or a taker.

Priesthood – a high calling from God to each of the redeemed.  Will you sacrifice to fulfill your calling, your priesthood?

Share a story of how you are or about someone you know who is fulfilling their priesthood.  Leave your comments and reasons if you disagree.  The forum is open to your affirmation and critique.

Blessings for the journey,

About Jim Hoffman

Pastor, teacher, leader, novice blogger, wanna be author and Christian conversationalist. Passionate about environmental architecture - creating spaces where people can foster new or growing relationships with each other and God. Currently leads a faith community on Ward Parkway in Kansas City and happily married to Margaret. Blessed with four adult children and two grandsons.
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