Priesthood: the ministry of God
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (6-7)
Clay has been available and used from the beginning of time. Used primarily in building houses and creating various household goods. It was a common man’s material that was cheap, soft and easy to work with, but once heated to high temperatures impurities come out and, would change and become strong. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians uses the analogy of clay vessels to describe how God can use the ordinary to showcase and proclaim God’s glory. God chose us as ordinary individuals to be his royal priesthood. 1 peter 2:9 says "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light".
What does it mean to be a priest? In Old Testament Jewish tradition, only a select group could have been a priest. You had to be born of the tribe of Levite, set apart, holy and on the Day of Atonement you would bring the people’s sacrifice to the Ark of the Covenant. When Christ died he was the High Priest (Hebrews 4:14), that offered himself as the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all. After Christ’s death and resurrection, all Christians are called to be a royal priesthood. So what should we do? We should pray for others, give Godly advise teach others truths about God and serve others.
We are people who aren't perfect but have the light of the gospel living in us. But in order for us to be used as vessels, we need to be changed by fire. Similar to clay, through the fire of the Holy Spirit, our impurities are burned off and we become bolder, stronger, and courageous to be ambassadors for Christ. Through us his imperfect priests- we carry this treasure, Christ, in Jars of clay- commonplace, unattractive and maybe chipped but very usable by God if we let Him.
Prayer: Lord refine us with your fire, and use us to spread your gospel. Help us to be set apart from the desires, and sinful nature from this world. Amen
Thought for the Day: “Do we live lives holy and set apart as part of a royal priesthood”?
Shibu Mathew, Epiphany Mar Thoma Church, NY