Everyone is Important

Posted on November 18, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Devotional Reflections

Growing up in church, I can remember being challenged to memorize Scripture; in fact, one Sunday School teacher would expect each class member to quote a new verse each week. Somewhere along in our adolescence we began to choose verses that were apparently meaningless and even nonsensical. One of my favorites in the KJV was 1 Chronicles 26:18–”At Parbar westward, four at the causeway and two at Parbar.”

Later I became curious as to what this verse actually meant. I discovered that the word “parbar” in Hebrew means “parbar.” That wasn’t very helpful. The conjecture of some commentaries suggest that it was the portico around the temple, and the causeway was the ramp leading up to the colonnade from the west side. The verse is in the context of several chapters detailing the duties and assignments of the Levites, the priestly tribe of Israel.

While all priests were Levites, not all Levites were priests; many had responsibilities other than administering the sacrifices and holy rituals. This passages indicates there were 38,000 over 30 years of age. There were 4,000 gatekeepers and 4,000 musicians. Each family and clan had assigned duties that remained intact for generations. Because there were so many Levites they rotated responsibilities, perhaps serving specific hours of a designated week.

Each one had a job to do that was important to the ministry and so that nothing was lacking in service to the Lord. First Chronicles 26:18 probably refers to the guards that were stationed at certain locations, probably more for protocol that for security. This would not have been a prominent assignment. They were not the ones leading the worship and laying the sacrifices on the altar. It may have been among the lowest of tasks, but they were expected to fulfill their duty with diligence and faithfully as it was truly unto the Lord.

In the body of Christ everyone is given unique and distinct gifts for the sake of serving the body that it might be complete and fully equipped for the witness and ministry God intended for the church to fulfill. Some roles are not as prominent as others, but are equally important. Not everyone is called to preach or gifted to sing in the choir or lead worship. But if there are not those willing to serve as parking lot attendants, nursery workers and ushers, things are not going to function very well and God is dishonored.

In naming the families assigned to these rather perfunctory and menial tasks, the Bible describes them as “valiant men…able men with strength for the service” (1 Chronicles 26:7-8). They were capable and gifted for their unique role and ministry. As men of valor they were not just courageous but persistent and faithful in the task. They were not inclined to burn-out or falling into a motivational slump.

Each of us who have been born again and called as a member of the body of Christ has been gifted for a task of service that is essential to the church. No one is exempt. Many roles are behind the scenes and will never receive public acclaim or appreciation; nevertheless, they are important in serving the body and reaching a lost world. There is a place for everyone. Like the Levites, may we be forever faithful in the task.

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