October 19

Hebrews 5:1-10

“Every high priest…is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness;” vss. 1a-2

High priests were mediators between the people and God…they had responsibility for making sure offerings and sacrifices were made in an orderly way that was pleasing to God. The writer of this letter had observed that the best of the priests dealt gently with the ignorant and the wayward because they themselves were subject to weakness. Ideally we see that same gentle spirit among those that we call to be leaders in our congregations. They may not have priestly duties…more often we call them pastors and ministers…but the very best of them will have a strong sense of their own inadequacies. They’ll poke fun at themselves and freely acknowledge foibles and failures. Often they’ll admit they don’t have answers to big questions…never will they use their office or position to control or intimidate. When people get caught up in the tendrils of sin they will offer words of grace and mercy, and not of judgment or condemnation. Such servant leaders are an amazing blessing in our faith communities, for through them we experience God’s love in full measure. There is a consistency in their behaviors between faith and practice…never do we sense they’re putting on a show or seeking prestige and power. Their only desire is to be a conduit for God’s forgiveness and grace.

Thought for the Day: What pastoral weaknesses are unforgivable?

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