Last week, I was reading the end of Exodus and something about Aaron stood out to me. As God was describing the clothing for the high priest (the ephod and such), he specifically referred to two stones – each carved with the names of 6 tribes of Israel – that would sit on Aaron’s shoulders. (Chapter 28)
And in reading that, in verse 12 that the stones would be placed upon the shoulders of Aaron as a remembrance, I was struck with the beauty of it. Aaron would carry Israel on his shoulders into the presence of God as their priest. Pastors do this today – we carry the hurts, pains, failures, struggles, worries, and doubts of our flocks upon our shoulders, and place them at the feet of Christ.
Because ultimately, that’s what he did with the cross – he took our hurts, pains, failures, struggles, worries, and doubts and laid them across his back in the form of a cross and carried it up Golgotha.
We, as ministers of Christ, must remember and honor the privilege and responsibility we have been given. We cannot deny the toll ministry takes, but we must not resent it or harbor bitterness as a result either.
I spoke with another pastor recently who very simply stated, “I carry other’s burdens.” That’s the beauty of pastoral ministry. That’s the call. We get to be strong with the strength of Christ for those who can not bear it any longer.
How does this occur in your ministry?