Eugene Peterson on the priesthood of believers

When Martin Luther made the priesthood of believers one of the foundation stones in his work of reforming the church, he didn’t, as many other reformers have tried to do, intend to eliminate priesthood as such. He was democratizing a priesthood that had been debased into a religious bureaucracy. He was designating every one of us to responsibilities of being priests to one another: guiding, praying for, encouraging – but not taking over, not interfering. Stubborn and rampant consumerist individualism – everyone for himself, herself, and the devil take the hindmost – is alien to the Christian life. We need our brothers and sisters; our brothers and sisters need us, and they need us as men and women of God. That is the context in which Peter told his congregation that they were a “holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5,9). Jesus is our high priest. Jesus makes the sacrifice that establishes our intimate relationship with God but also in community with relationships with one another. No merely human priest is permitted to interfere with that intimacy (the magisterial letter to the Hebrews makes that clear). But neither are we permitted to assume that we can go it alone in the way of Jesus.

Eugene Peterson, The Jesus Way, 224,225.

prayer for fourth Sunday in Lent

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer