Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…

One of the cornerstone, earth shaking, teachings of Martin Luther is that of the Priesthood of all believers.

What is a priest? A priest is one who is ordained to do God’s work. A priest takes vows; a priest wakes up each day knowing that holy work awaits them. Priests are the hands and feet of Jesus in the world; called and chosen.

In Luther’s day the Church’s teaching was quite clear. The priests did God’s work in the world, and the rest of the people did what they had to do to survive, to put food on the table, and to support the priests and nuns who did holy work.

The mundane, unclean, and unappreciated work of the lay people was a necessary evil; it was a curse of the fall in the garden of Eden. As a punishment for original sin, you will get no rest; you will labor and toil, doing secular work until the day you die.

Luther turned Christianity upside down by teaching that the priests and nuns were NO MORE important in God’s eyes than the blacksmith, the farmer, the mother, and the teacher.

Luther’s teaching on the priesthood of all believers tells us that in Baptism we are ordained, ordained by GOD, to do the holy and sacred work of God.

Every morning I rise and come to work as your pastor and someone needs me. I am needed to make coffee: to turn on the lights, to open the doors of the church, to move tables and chairs, and occasionally to plunge the toilet.

My work is no different from those in schools or office buildings across the island.

Each day people come to me needing prayer or a shoulder to cry on. Each day people COME TO YOU needing someone to listen, someone to care, someone to remind them that they are not alone.

Every day I seek to do my work to the glory of God; it is God’s work and my hands.

Every day you go places where I cannot go; your children and grandchildren need your love; your co-workers and neighbors need to hear words of hope. This is holy work.

I need you to build the planes that I fly in; this is holy work done to God’s glory. We need teachers who care. We need politicians who work for the common good. We need bakers and tellers and ferry workers.

You are the hands and feet of Christ; you were ordained in baptism to faithfully serve in your vocation. Whatever that vocation is, it is important to your neighbor, to the functioning of society, to the abundant life of our shared community.

Your vocation is YOUR ministry and, in that place, you are a priest. When parenting has you at wits end, remember that you were called and chosen for moments like this.

When your clients, co-workers, or customers are wearing you down and trying your patience, touch the water, make the sign of the cross, and remember that you were ordained as a priest.

Tomorrow, I will continue this thought by sharing a story from the past week. I was privileged to observe one of our own, as she lived out her calling to follow Jesus in daily life.

One day closer,
Pastor Jim

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