Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This Bad Priest

"They made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription, like the engraving of the signet, 'Holy to the LORD.'" - Moses in Exodus 39.

I don't see reality very well. My perspective is very ego-driven. Or rather my perspective on life is filtered through the lense of me. I like to call it "me-ness mean-ness." It's mean in that it's just not nice, and it's also mean in that it doesn't give.

Most mornings I wake up as a me-ness meanie-monster, thinking, "How can this be the best possible day for me I've ever had?" Recently, like George Castanza in Sienfeld, I've been pondering making this the Summer of Phil!

This is the definition of evil. Hitler probably woke up like this.

As I was attempting to have my devotions this morning (which translates to bleary-eyed and bored) this verse popped a knuckle in my brain. There's something about being considered "Holy to the Lord" that appeals to my me-focus.

But if I consider where the phrase was located, on the crown of a priest, something begins to work against my me-ness mean-ness. The priest is FOR the people, he represents the people and on his head he wears a crown that says "holy to the Lord."

As I ponder the significance of priesthood, I think of the stuff in the New Testament where we are called to be a priests, to be part of a royal priesthood.

We are considered by God to be holy, it's literally etched into the crown we wear right there on our for-heads. I find this literal stamp of divine approval to be really inspiring. For everything in me seems to be about me, but the truth is I am holy to God, which means "set apart" for God.

I rarely think of myself as set apart for the work of God: Set apart to lift up others. Set apart to be a light to the nations. And set apart to offer up to him sacrifices with shouts of joy.

I am a His priest!

What we are makes a difference. What we are determines what we do. I'm still a sinner, so I still have this horrible me focus distorting reality and corrupting everything I do.

But reality says that I am also "holy to the Lord." This encourages me with it's bright hope. I have bright hope that I can do God's work - his work of lifting others up, bearing the burdens of the tired and broken and sharing the message of Christ to the lost. My calling is to intercede for my fellow man, because I am a priest.

It's a good thing that God uses bad priests like me. It's a good thing that we have this crown fashioned by his divine plan. It's a good thing that God knows the way out of "me-ness mean-ness." And it's a great thing when we seize the opportunity to be what we are, "a royal priesthood."

May you be a priest today, and look to your priest to do so. (After all, the idea of being part of a "royal priesthood" comes from Christ being our king.) Let's not forget what's stamped on our for-heads regardless of how bad we are.

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