Who Is Your Priest? Whose Priest Are You?

One of the hallmarks of Protestant Christian is the “priesthood of all believers.” This understanding originally meant that individual people do not need a special class of people (priests) to mediate between themselves and God. It was a reaction to the Church’s teaching that one must go to a priest to confess sins, receive forgiveness, received the sacraments, etc.

What it has come to mean, in our hyper-individualistic culture, is that no one needs anyone else.  In other words, “each of us is our own priest.”

This is a mis-reading of the biblical understanding of priesthood.  In Exodus 19:6, before the 10 Commandments are given, God tells Moses that they are to be a “kingdom of priests”  , Isaiah seconds this in 61:6 where God says “But you will be called the priests of the LORD.”  I Peter 2:9, referring to the people of God,  says that the people are “…a royal priesthood, a holy nation….”

The intent is that God’s people are all to be priests for each other (and for everyone or any one else).  To say that one ought to go directly (and only directly) to God misses the point of incarnation and is as wrong as to identify a special few as the only ones who have access to God.

We all have access to God through Jesus.  But we don’t have that access only for ourselves.  We have it for others.

Perhaps it would help to turn it the other direction.  Because of incarnation, God has access to people through us.

Go be a priest.  Someone around you could use the connection to God today.

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