Everyone needs a priest.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
When things go bad everyone looks for the closest priest.
That was my conclusion after years of working in “the real world” and wondering why those same construction guys, who would make fun of me for studying to be in the ministry, would pull me aside when things collapsed in their lives. Whether it be a philandering spouse, an impending bankruptcy or an incurable disease, when things went bad they didn’t go to their drinking buddies. They came to me.
Why? Because I was the closest thing to a priest they could find.
If you are a believer in Jesus then you are a priest as well. No, I’m not talking about a professional priest who has gone to seminary, wears a white collar and can say prayers in Latin. I’m talking about the kind of priest that the Apostle Peter was referring to when he wrote his first book. You are a royal priest living in a dark place proclaiming a loving message about a holy God.
It’s why unregenerate people apologize to you when they drop an F-bomb in your presence.
It’s why they don’t tell you the same dirty jokes they tell their other friends.
It’s why, although they may chide you from time to time, down deep inside they respect you.
They sense the presence of Christ in you. It makes them nervous and intrigued, convicted and convinced…all at the same time.
And when things go bad they turn to you, because in turning to you they are turning to Him. They are turning to Jesus who is alive in you and living through you (Galatians 2:20.)
If you go to a public school you are the priest of that school. If you work at a public school (like my wife does) you are a priest in that school. Whether you’re a construction worker, a lawyer or Barista you are a priest where you plant your feet and do your job.
You are priest in your family, on your team, in your neighborhood and on your Facebook page.
As part of this “royal priesthood” you have direct access to God through prayer. You have a responsibility to “declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” This mixture of worship and evangelism is the incense you swing everywhere you go. The aroma of this message emanating from your life and lips fills the place with grace (2 Corinthians 2:15-17.)
You don’t need a frock to authenticate you or a collar to authorize you. You’ve been ordained by the King of kings as His ambassador of reconciliation to a lost and dying world.
So don’t be shocked when people turn to you for answers when the crap hits the fan in their lives. Remember that when things get dark people look for the closest light. When things go bad they look for the closest priest.