A Priestly Community

Last Sunday, we had a guest speaker at church who spoke on community. Community is three things, he told us: unlikely (given its diversity), priestly (given 1 Peter 2), and hopeful (given the incredibly joy we have in the present and the incredible promise for the future.)

It has been my experience that the "priestly" factor is the one people find the hardest. However unlikely the alliance, people (for the most part) usually have no trouble uniting under Christ. Or at least the idea of Christ. And even if it's difficult in practice sometimes, you usually don't have to go around convincing Christians that there's hope in Christ.

However, priests? People balk at the word. Isn't that an Old Testament thing? Minister to one another? Why would I do that? That's why we have ministers, to minster to us. "I go to church to get ministered to, by the pastor. I don't want you ministering to me, and I'm sure as heck not going to minister to you." is often the mindset.

But I don't see any way around it. First, the Bible says so, so you're kind of stuck. Second, there are a ton of verses in the Bible that say how we are to treat one another. Collectively, they are called *surprise!* the "One Anothers." Again, it's in the Bible, so you're kind of stuck. Third, if we are truly unified in Christ and if we truly have hope in Him, why wouldn't we minister to each other? It seems silly not to. Fourth, some may shy away from ministering because they feel they are not properly equipped and they leave it "for someone else." Yes, sometimes there are extreme situations which will require a professional, perhaps the pastor or a Biblical counselor. However, your friend won't be living life with a pastor or a Biblical counselor. Your friend is living life with YOU. And YOU have the Gospel.

I mentioned on Wednesday that I would explain why my post was late. All my meaningful relationships are ones in which others minister to me, and I minister to them. It's quite beautiful, really, and I cherish those relationships a lot. However, ministry also takes a lot of time and energy. Some weeks, I need to be ministered to. Some weeks other people need to be ministered to. Still other weeks, a ton of people need ministering to. This was one of those weeks. And that's fine. In fact, that's great- not that I had friends who were suffering, but that in ministering to them I was able to point them back towards Christ, the Great High Priest who started all of this in the first place.

Do you regularly minister to people in your life? Do you find yourself being ministered to? What steps can we take as Christians to move from casual relationships to ministry and discipleship?