Can you please be a priest?

Last week I attended a very good conference in Glasgow about the church in a secular age. How does our mission and work change as a result of the increasing secularisation around us? The keynote speaker, Stefan Paas made some excellent points in his keynote talks. One of the most fascinating points he made was concerning that wonderful reformed concept of the priesthood of all believers. Priests are, by definition, in the minority, as we are. Their main tasks are to represent God to the people and the people to God. That we can do. We are the hands and feet of God in our communities, doing the work of God in our communities, being salt and light to those around us. More than that we have a particular priestly task in that we are to intercede for our community, our parish and our city. One of the main roles of any priest is an intercessory one. We need to find the stories of grief, anger and joy in the community and present them to God.
The priestly church will be characterised by worship and praise, it will be deeply communal as it cares for its community in practical ways, it will take seriously its role of representing God to the community and will be actively pursuing the fullness of Christ in individuals.
Stefan Paas suggested that we need individuals to become Christians, not just to fill the pews and keep the church going but to ensure that we have people everywhere representing God to the people and the people to God, that no-one is without someone interceding on their behalf. Is there anyone you know who you are not praying for? Are there persons on your street for whom not one person is praying? Imagine if someone you knew died without anyone ever praying for them? We have a priestly task ad as we start praying for people we will become more and more interested in them, our love will increase and that witness will change everything. Start praying for your neighbours, your street, your community. We are called to the priesthood of all believers, make a start today on realising the implications of that calling.

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