The Pondering Pastor

These "Ponderings" originally appeared as articles in our church newsletter or bulletin or just as the musings of one bald pastor. I place them here to encourage you, my fellow blogite and maybe to help us all in our pondering.

Friday, August 11, 2006

THE POWER OF VOICE

ISN’T TECHNOLOGY A HOOT? Email can be great, not to mention digital photography, but cell phones, there’s something that’s become very special to me. Allow me to elaborate.

Our daughter Krista is seven time zones away, living in the village of Bogoya in north central Burkina Faso, and yet has happened last Monday I could talk with her about her struggles and joys as if she were across town. It’s great to get mail (both “e” and snail), it’s wonderful to look at pictures posted on her blog, but talking with her, hearing her voice, smiling at her laughter, and suffering with her concerns, that is so much better. The voice can communicate what the written word cannot.

Prayer, that communication with our heavenly Father, is the power of voice. It is not speaking into the air with hopes that it will “hit” something, but it is opening our hearts and sharing with Some One, who can respond. Prayer is powerful. Consider some of its benefits:


It’s personal. It is a personal encounter with a personal God.

It’s presence. It is our opportunity to enter into the very presence of the sovereign God of all eternity. And it is a place in which He welcomes us to come often.

It’s proximity. It is through prayer that I can be where others are, even if separated by seven time zones and thousands of miles. It is through prayer that I can walk with others even if I cannot be physically present.

It’s power. Not my power, but God’s. Through prayer I am able to join my heart with the heart of Him who holds all creation in the palm of His hand.

It’s peace. Through prayer I can experience the peace that surpasses my ability to understand.

Voice is a powerful thing, and even more so when joined with the Voice of God. So, let us pray.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Of Prophets, Priests, and Kings

ISRAEL HAS OFTEN FOUND ITSELF SITUATED BETWEEN a rock and a hard place. Throughout its history it seems as though it has been struggling against one foe or another. Sometimes the attacks have come upon them as the innocent party, and at other times as the action of God to bring them back from their state of rebellion. I don’t pretend to know the “cause” of the present state of affairs; I only know that I am praying for peace.

During the early days of the nation of Israel, God set up a trinity of offices to help lead the nation. He gave priests to lead the nation in their worship by offering sacrifices and prayers to God. He gave kings to lead the civil and military aspects of the kingdom. Finally, He gave prophets to call the people back from their waywardness and rebellion and to speak of salvation and restoration.

In the church today we don’t have kings, and pastors may sometimes fill the role of prophet, but the one thing we do have is a kingdom of priests. Those of us who have responded to God’s gracious gift of salvation in Jesus Christ, and been brought into His royal priesthood. Our task as priests is not unlike the task of the priest of Israel’s early days, to offer prayers and petitions and sacrifices.

Too often we understand the “role” of being priests as each one having individual access to God without the need of some religious hierarchical system, and in part this is true. But, it is so much more than that. The role of the priest is to pray for the people. That is your role, to pray for the people around you. To stand in the Holy of Holies, in the very presence of God, to plead for the needs of the nation, whether that “nation” resides within the walls of your home, the confines of your neighborhood, or the local body of Christ.

We need a church of priests now more than ever. It is time to enter in. It is time to pray. Let’s fulfill our God-given responsibility and seek His face, turn from our wicked ways, and pray for the healing of the “nation.”