The Priesthood of All Believers by JW Kaiser
I’ve always appreciated that in surfing, we don’t just celebrate the pros in a way that creates a lack of appreciation for the regular surfer who surfs on the weekends or after work or school… like 99.9% of surfers in the world. It’s fun to have a favorite pro and watch the contest, but it’s also fun to celebrate the grom who is just getting started surfing or the saged old timer on the log who is still getting after some good waves before they head off to earn a living doing something other than surfing. Unfortunately, when it comes to our faith, we somehow forget that all of us have the high calling of serving in the Kingdom, not just the professional pastors or clergy.
One of the basic tenets of the Christian faith that many adhere to is referred to as the “priesthood of all believers.” Simply put, all believers, not just the pros, are being equipped by the Holy Spirit to carry hope into the world. With this high calling comes a great mystery. The mystery of this priesthood is that God calls us all to walk into dark places and engage in the world’s suffering, NOT simply influence it. We can not influence darkness. We can only stand in the darkness and shine (the light of Christ) and suffer for the sake of Christ alongside broken people in a broken world. The bravest “priest” will enter into the highs and lows of people’s journeys. If we only want to celebrate victories we see in our friends then why would they show us and invite us into the dark corners of their fears and failures?
As believers, we are “hope holders” called to carry hope into hopeless places. However, hope is heavy and if we don’t give it away we set it down and trip over it in selfishness. Our inability to give the hope away could turn us into uncoordinated gluttons of misappropriated hope meant not just for us, but for others.
I’ve heard it said, “Trees don’t bear fruit for themselves!”
– Pastor Koleoso