1 Peter 2:7-10
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” vs. 9
As Martin Luther, armed with his fresh understanding of grace and faith, continued to search the scriptures, he began to describe the Church as the “priesthood of all believers.” That insight eroded the influence and authority of what had become a stifling hierarchy in the medieval church. No longer would leaders be able to use their positions as priests and bishops to control and manipulate their flocks. Luther told the world that the Office of the Keys, the power to forgive sins, had not been given exclusively to a few, but was the common possession of all believers. All of us are priests and have direct access to God…we don’t need mediators. It is our privilege and our calling as priests to listen to the confessions of our brothers and sisters and offer healing words of absolution and forgiveness. Naturally, within this royal priesthood some will take positions as pastors and others will be deacons and teachers…but all will be priests…none will have a role more sacred or holy than another. More importantly, it will be the duty of all to be evangelists and proclaim the mighty acts of God to the world. Luther’s egalitarian view of the church was not universally well received…but for many it was close to the heart of the gospel.
Thought for the Day: How do you exercise your priesthood?