Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse
Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages
“So I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God.”
This passage introduces us to the biblical concept of ordination. (The English word is found in Exodus 29:29 and 35.) When God “calls out” the worshipping community, He also “calls out” people to lead the worshipping community. Spiritual leadership is an idea rooted in both the Old and New Testaments. (For a few New Testament examples of ordination, see Acts 6:1-6, 1 Timothy 5:21, 2 Timothy 1:6, and Titus 1:5.)
The ordained are not perfect people. Did you notice that these unusual sacrificial ceremonies (shrouded in ancient ritual far removed from us) are being made on behalf of the ministers at their ordination service? The fact that they are sinners means that they understand struggle in this life, which helps them carry out their work with greater compassion (see Hebrews 5:1-2). These imperfect ministers are set apart to teach God’s people how to live lives of worship!
Being a minister before God’s people is one of the most exciting, frightening, joyful, stressful callings in the world. It is exciting to watch God work through you. It is frightening to know that God will hold you accountable for everything you do. It is joyful because your entire life is devoted to helping people “glorify God and enjoy him forever” (Westminster Catechism, Q1). It is stressful because you are dealing with deeply emotional issues while living your entire life as a sinner on public display.
Why not take some time today to pray for your pastors and elders? Pray for God to help them lead a life of beauty (not perfection). Pray for God to use the spiritual leaders of your church to help you follow Christ more faithfully. And if they are teaching the Word and leading well, do everything you can to support them. Don’t be like the people who constantly challenged and criticized leaders like Moses, the prophets, and eventually Jesus (Matt. 21:23-27). When people oppose the spiritual leaders God has placed in the worshipping community, it is difficult for them to do their work with joy. Hostility and resistance wear down leaders, which impedes their effectiveness, and in the end that brings harm to the very people who hinder them (see Hebrews 13:17).