Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Paradox of Priest and King

UV 1684/10000 The Paradox of Priest and King
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light
I Peter 2 v 9

In every generation, the believers are the ones chosen by the Lord. They are chosen not just for inheriting salvation or eternal life but to serve as royal priests or as kings and priests. “Many are called but few are chosen.” We are called and chosen as we respond to the call of Jesus with repentance at our sins and joy at our redemption therefrom. Tears are followed by laughter. On earth, the chosen are called the elite who are entitled and exclusive. But, we the chosen are not the elite but the elect of God – servant leaders in the mould of Jesus. We are called to be a righteous nation of which Jesus is the King and High Priest. As kings, we need to administer spiritual gifts and exercise authority on earth. As priests, we are to offer praises to the One who choose us to be brought out of the darkness and emptiness of a hopeless life into His wonderful presence for He is light and love. Each of us are to be a reflection of that light hereafter and a manifestation of that love. As priests, we need to humbly intercede for the burdens and issues of the people we are called to serve. As kings, we are to command or exercise authority over the spiritual world.

The words “show forth” the praises implies that our worship and praise of the Lord should not be merely from our lips but it should start deep within our hearts based on our experience of His grace and love. We need not just speak or sing it but manifest it in our thoughts, words, actions and reactions. The challenge is to do this while living in a world of darkness. We need to “show” it in practical ways in our homes and in the places we work in. We need to show it in our attitudes, our conduct, our relationships, our activities. The priests of Israel in Jesus’s time on earth used to “show off” their piety and their exclusiveness but we are required to be humble, accessible, down to earth, available, teachable and practical. We should offer ourselves as prisms for the Lord’s light to penetrate and to be magnified in a variety of ways. In terms of the metaphor of sound energy, we need to resonate the love of the Lord towards the world. He has put our life on song or in harmony with our pre-fallen nature, with others, with the environment, with His laws and His Word, with Himself. Hence, our lives need to be one elaborate song in many parts in praise of His name. The word “ marvellous” appended to light implies that we will experience many wonders, miracles and supernatural manifestations of the Light. We need to be ready for the awesome.

Light as we know comprises of seven colours “ VIBGYOR”. We need to manifest the light and love of God through the Victory of Jesus over sin and death that we appropriate by faith, the Integrity of Jesus in thought, word, deed and reaction that we emulate, the Boldness of Jesus in accomplishing the mission the Father had set for Him on earth, the Grace of Jesus, the Yearning of Jesus to reveal the love and compassion of the Father to people around through healing, by satisfying their physical hunger and in practical ways, the Offering of our bodies as a living sacrifice to the Lord and we Rejoice. We are a peculiar people as we are distinguished by the presence of God in our lives as He dwells in our hearts. We are a peculiar or unique people as our past is completely washed, forgiven and forgotten while our future and our eternity is guaranteed. We are a peculiar or strange people as we do not exhibit the values and follow the priorities of people of this world. We are a peculiar people as we play the paradoxical roles of priest and king. We are a peculiar people as we are chosen to opt out of the rat race of conflict, competition and bitterness into grace and everlasting life. We are a peculiar people as we rejoice in our hearts even when we are confronting suffering and persecution.

Prateep V Philip

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