Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This week's lesson: Christ, our priest

When you call God . . . who picks up the phone?
You can always judge someone's importance, after all, by how difficult it is to get in touch with them.
  • Call me at work, for instance, and my secretary will answer the phone, then transfer the call to me.
  • Call my boss, and a secretary will answer the phone, transfer the call to the President's Executive Assistant, and then she will forward the call to him.
  • But call the President of the United States of America, and I suspect your message will go from a secretary, to an Executive Assistant, to a Special Executive Assistant, to the Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of Special Executive Assistants, and then to . . . 
Okay, I'm not sure where it goes from there -- but you get my point.
No, important people don't answer their own phones when somebody calls.
Important people don't open their own front doors when somebody knocks. 
And important people would never read a letter you wrote to them -- not unless that letter had already made it through a cordon of secretaries, schedulers, security guards . . .
Or priests.
That's what priests do, after all -- they control access. 
  • Like secretaries, they determine who meets with their boss.
  • Like Executive Assistants, they determine the nature of that meeting with their boss.
  • And like the retinue that surrounds the President, they serve as a reminder that we are dealing with someone who is much more important than ourselves -- someone whom we could never hope to meet without the help of all those intermediaries and go-betweens.
Yes, for God to be His own priest is akin to saying that He picks up the phone when we call . . . that He answers the door when we knock . . . then He opens every letter we send and reads it Himself.
Not something you'd expect from somebody important.
But if Jesus is our priest, then that's exactly what we're saying.

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