Your Priestly Calling

woman blessing
Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/3042625930/">Wonderlane</a>

Hebrews 5:5-10

Jesus didn’t appoint himself to the high-priesthood. It was God who said,

You’re my child.
I’m your parent.

It was God who said,

You’re a priest,
In the tradition of the king of justice.

When Jesus was with us in the flesh, he prayed, pleaded with cries and tears, that God would spare his life. His prayers were heard, but in spite of being God’s child, he still had to go through with the suffering. It was through the suffering that he became the life-saving spring for everyone who follows his calling. He was appointed by God to be a priest in the tradition of the king of justice.

“Melchizedek,” from the Hebrew roots m-l-k “king” and tz-d-k “righteousness, justice,” is first mentioned in Genesis 14 as the priestly king who blesses Abram. You can look it up.

Doing justice is no picnic. It’s a calling. It involves suffering. Lifesaving, life-giving, life-affirming suffering.

Which is not to say that one ought to be a doormat. What it does mean is that you have to do the work, put in the time, endure the nay-sayers, the make-fun-of-yous, and the it-can’t-be-done people. It does mean that you have to take a stand, even when it’s unpopular. Even when it lands you in hot water.

It means that you actually have to put your life on the line for something worthwhile.

It means that being privileged doesn’t exempt you from putting your life on the line for what’s right. If you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you’re no better when it comes to doing right than someone who was born in a slum in Calcutta or East LA. All it means is that you’re responsible for more to start with.

Anyone can be a priest in the tradition of the king of justice. You can be a source of blessing. Jesus was God’s child, sure. But so are you. All you’ve got to do is put your life on the line for something wonderfully right.