Thursday, August 2, 2012
The Royal Priesthood...
Reminded to me by Pr. Will Weedon, this quote was remembered after a discussion with the Church Council on our missionary presence in the community. What is the Church doing? Well, before you get to the question of what the Church is doing, you must answer the question who is the Church. The Church in the community is the role and purpose of the royal priesthood. Gathered around the Word and Sacrament for worship, prayer, strength, and equipping, the focus of this is not merely internal but external. Walking out the doors of the building, we confront the world on its turf. The royal priesthood imparted in baptism manifests itself in the words of witness, the works of mercy, and, most especially, in the ministry of intercession. We too often focus upon what we do in the sense of words and works directed to them and not enough on words and intercessions directed for them to God.
Until we see the friends, co-workers, and neighbors around us as people as near and dear to us, worthy of our prayers, and the desire of our hearts, our other efforts will be hindered. We pray for those nearest and dearest to us. We pray for our family, our friends, and the folks who sit with us in the pews. When we pray for the unchurched, we are saying they are near and dear to us, the most important folks in our lives. The Lord hears our prayers and our prayers reflect what is most important to us. With this awareness, we pray for our neighbors. That is our priestly duty and our delight.
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Very nice post, Father. The act of prayer, of course, is multiplied when our prayers turn into actions of the Gospel (feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, etc.), thus giving witness to the faith and hope alive in us which led us to prayer in the first place.
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