May 22

Numbers 11:24-34

“But Moses said to him, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!’” vs. 29

According to the book of Numbers Moses was feeling the burden of leadership in the wilderness and complained to the Lord. He was instructed to gather 70 elders from among the people and the Lord put his spirit on them and they then began to prophesy. But then two who were not among the 70 also received the spirit and prophesied–and Joshua was angry. Now he may have been the first to worry about such things, but he wasn’t the last. Proper credentialing is still a big concern among God’s people. Of course there is a need for order in our communities of faith, and proper training is always important for those we appoint to be leaders in the church. But certainly we should have learned by now that the Spirit of God goes where it wills, and sometimes the Spirit rests on those who seem to have no credentials at all–they may not even have been to seminary or studied Greek! That’s why discerning the Spirit can get a little tricky in our congregations. While all are filled with the Spirit we don’t all have the same gifts, and it’s not always easy to match the person with their calling. And whatever process we use it’s helpful to remember that the Holy Spirit usually colors outside the lines.

Thought for the Day: Why should pastors be ordained?

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