Sacred Familiar

Today's devotion from Numbers 4.There are those ministers who feel that they are entitled or worthy of their post. They may feel too accomplished for this position or that location. Yet, I know the truth. The truth is that it is a humbling blessing to get to serve as a pastor. I came to this realization many years ago, but have often had it confirmed over the years.

For example, a year or so ago I met a young man with an incredible pedigree. His father was a pastor. He had attended one of the finest seminaries where he had the opportunity to serve as an assistant to the president of the institution, a man who was a king-maker. As I spoke with this young man, handsome and tall, I was surveying his impressive library...that was for sale.

Why was he selling his library? Because after hundreds of resumes sent he had been unable to secure a position of service as part of a staff. Giving up, he had enlisted in the United States military. This is my point: if God does not open a door for ministry, there is no forcing it open with references or education. With all of this training and investing, he learned that ministry was still truly a calling.

I am no more worthy of ministry than this young man. Yet, for some reason God chose me for the pastorate. He called me. Now, thirteen years later I face another temptation. There are those who are tempted to place ministry on a pedestal. On the other hand, after years of serving the church, others might be tempted to take the post for granted. We become too familiar with the sacred.

In our reading, the Kohathites are entrusted with the important duty of caring for the instruments essential in the worship of God. Yet, they are warned not to look at the holy objects. There is a very real danger of becoming too familiar with the sacred. I'm afraid that this is the problem for many in our churches today. It truly is a danger to become so comfortable and acquainted with the awesome that we take it for granted. Or, perhaps better stated, the danger comes from taking God and His majesty for granted.

May we never lose the awe and wonder of serving God and being in His presence. May we never become too familiar that we lose the sacred.