Isaiah 61:From the beginning, Israel was to play a unique role as a priestly nation to the world. When God first made a covenant through Moses, he said to the Israelites, “Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation” (Exod. 19:5-6).
Over the centuries, Israel lost sight of the priestly calling God had given to the nation. The Israelites had a hard enough time following God for themselves, not to mention representing God to the world. But Isaiah looks ahead to a day of restoration, a time when God’s people would truly be priests and ministers, not just within Israel, but also for the world.
We who are God’s people through Christ have inherited this priestly calling. According to 1 Peter 2:5, we are priests who offer spiritual sacrifices to God. We do this, not only through offering God praise and prayer, but also by living our lives in the world for his sake. Though certain churches have designated priests who do specific tasks within their churches, every single Christian is a priest in the world. We’re called to represent Christ, to serve him by serving others. No matter where we are, we seek to live out our high calling as priests and ministers of God.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Where in your world do you serve in a priestly role, representing God to others? At home? In your church? In the workplace? How might you do this even more faithfully?PRAYER: Gracious God, even as the Israelites were to be your priests for the larger world, so we have this high calling today. We are in the world, not simply to wait around for heaven, but rather to serve you by serving others. We are your priests in our families and at work. We represent you wherever we are.
Help us, dear Lord, to accept this high calling with joy and conviction. May we live for you each day, seeing every moment, every relationship, every task as an opportunity to serve you and to live out your kingdom.
All praise to you, O God, because you have called us to be your priests. In the name of Jesus, our great high priest. Amen.