All Believers Are Called to Minister
Devotional Thought of the Day:
4 Come to the Lord, the living stone rejected by people as worthless but chosen by God as valuable. 5 Come as living stones, and let yourselves be used in building the spiritual temple, where you will serve as holy priests to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5 (TEV)
Although few would have denied that it was theoretically possible for laypeople to achieve sanctity, fewer still proposed sanctity in the world as an achievable ideal. A more intense spiritual life in a young man or woman, or even a desire to serve God seriously , was normally taken as an unequivocal sign of a vocation to the priesthood or the religious life. Few priests encouraged laypeople to make a serious effort to achieve sanctity in their ordinary lives. This reflected a practical conviction that the best to be hoped for from lay men and women was the fulfillment of their basic spiritual duties and the obligations of their state in life. Sanctity in the middle of the world might be an interesting topic for theological speculation, but it was rarely preached about and even less frequently actively pursued. In fact, most people who heard about it from Escrivá in the mid -1930s thought the notion was crazy, if not heretical. (1)
The above quote in blue is taken from a new book I am reading, It is the biography of a servant of God, a man who didn’t set out to be a minister, never mind to head a movement.The quote is talking about his mentor, his friend, the one whom he would succeed.
And it resonates deeply and clearly with me, I have seen people who have been told that ministry is the role only of the ordained, the clergy, the group I, for better or for worse am part. That people shouldn’t read the Bible in Church, that they can’t assist, that they are, for the most part, just dumb sheep, who need an occasional feeding on SUnday Mornings, and make sure they are visited when in the hospital or in jail, or have food put on their table.
And if you’ve been told that, that all being a Christian is, is going to church and occasionally maybe a Bible Study. That you cannot be holy, because you are a sinner, you need to know this. You were lied to, and something has been stolen from you. If you’ve been told you work as a Christian is to be a faithful spouse, a good parent, a diligent employee or employer, and that is all that God expects you to be, to fulfill your vocation, again, I apologize. You were lied to, Maybe not intentionally, but nevertheless, that which you heard was not the truth.
The scripture in red from Peter confirms it, you are called to minister, to serve as God’s priests. To do something spiritual.
Right in those vocations, right where God has placed you. It is not though, a meaningless ministry, it is not a non-spiritual ministry or service.
It is a spiritual service, it is a place where God put you – to represent Him, to serve Him, to be in prayer about, to proclaim His love, through your words, through your thoughts, through you deeds. Being holy is what you are called to, right there in your seat where you are reading this. RIght there as you minister to your children, to you family, in your work places. God has sent you there to sanctify them, to make those places holy, places where people can meet God.
It is holy work, it needs to be bathed in prayer and meditation, it requires spiritual sacrifice, and growth and spiritual maturity. It is setting it all apart, as a place where we meet God.
It is as holy and as needed to make these places holy places. to bring holiness to those in them, even as much as it is necessary to do so in a sermon, or when distributing the sacraments. Does that diminish the Lord’s Supper, or Baptism, or Confession and Absolution? Does that negate the ministry of the ordained? No, not at all, for those very things empower and enflame our other holy work. Those things convince us of God’s desire to be there.
It is a shared ministry. All of us, working alongside. All of us, depending on God’s crafting us into a people, guiding us to walk in the good works God has planned for us. A ministry, all of us working spiritually, setting everything we do apart to God.
(1) Coverdale, John F. (2014-07-09). Saxum: The Life of Alvaro del Portillo (Kindle Locations 154-157). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.