Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nehemiah 12:44-47

As Nehemiah 12 closes, we find a special group of individuals with one of the most thankless jobs. With the goings on of a city, there would inevitably be jobs created that were less forefront and accolade-laden, and more monotonous and laborious. Whether it was the position as gatekeeper where everyone knew your name, or the role of priest where people handed their sacrifices to you daily, or even the singers that travelled around the city, singing praises to God, it seemed like all the parts of the city were highly visible and everyone knew everyone. But there was a hidden cog and wheel job. It was not showy or flattering. Like the gears that drive the hands of a watch, these workers were never noticed, but their work was absolutely crucial.
These men worked in the temple warehouse. Their entire job was to log the gifts for the Levites and place them on shelves in the storehouse. They were not at the front gate of the temple, rather they were behind the scenes. But how important the thankless job was! If it had not been for their diligent labor, the piles of goods and grains that came in would become awkward and inconvenient. The priests who were meant to offer sacrifices would have to stop sacrificing to sort through the pile. The singers whose job it was to constantly proclaim God’s grandeur would have to hush their song so they could find something to eat in the pile. This thankless job may have been unflattering, but it was undeniably important.
And this is how the Body of Christ is. There are seemingly thankless roles. At times, people are enamored by the singers or the ministers who are in front of the congregants or Sunday school classes. At times it seems that there is no other way to serve in a church than to teach a Sunday school or sing in the choir. But this just isn’t the case. There are countless other things that happen behind the scenes at a church. Some people use their gifts to serve (mow the lawn, change air filters, clean bathrooms, change light bulbs, build play sets, run a sound booth). Others use their gifts of encouragement (to say kind words, or write letters, or bake cookies). Others use their gifts of giving (time, finances, goods).
The danger of any believer is to think that if we are not in the limelight, we must not be serving God well. This is just not the case. God is glorified when we are diligent to use the gifts that His Spirit has equipped us with. We have been custom designed for the health of our local church. And just as the warehouse workers were vital to the success of the temple, God wants you to use your gifts in your local church.

Food For Thought: What human tendency do you think plays into our desire to always be in the limelight? How does Galatians 1:10 help shape our thinking in regards to this issue?