1 Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We have such a high priest, one who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the sanctuary and the true tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up.3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. So this one too had to have something to offer. 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest, since there are already priests who offer a the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 The place where they serve is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary, just as Moses was warned by God as he was about to complete the tabernacle. For he says,"See that you make everything according to the design shown to you on the mountain." 6 But now Jesus has obtained superior ministry, since the covenant that he mediates is also better and is enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, no one would have looked for a second one. 8 But showing its fault, God says to them, "Look, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 9"It will not be like the covenant that I made with their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not continue in my covenant and I had no regard for them, says the Lord. 10"For this is the covenant that I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and I will inscribe them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be my people. Hebrews 11"And there will be no need at all for each one to teach his countryman or each one to teach his brother saying,'Know the Lord,'since they will all know me, from the least to the greatest. 12"For I will be merciful toward their evil deeds, and their sins I will remember no longer."
Jesus is twice described as "a minister". Our modern world has used this word in a way never intended by the original text. Today it signifies a leadership position in the church, a position of esteem and honour and of respect. But when it was written it signified one who served. A better word today would be "servant" or "worker".
We who are ministers of the Gospel of Jesus ought to refer to ourselves as workers for Jesus. And then get on with the work expected of us.
Ordinary 28 / Pentecost +21
50 A Friend of Souls
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 304.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.