Strong Shoulders

Jon Burgess


“Take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the tribes of Israel. Fasten the two stones on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod as a reminder that Aaron represents the people of Israel. Aaron will carry these names on his shoulders as a constant reminder whenever he goes before the LORD.” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭28:9, 12‬


Every time Aaron would come into the Lords presence He would come with a literal weight upon his shoulders. He would bare the burden of Gods people before the Lord. When He would bow, stand up, lift his arms, Aaron would feel the weight of the twelve tribes. This weight would focus his prayers and remind him why he was there.


Two important truths of pastoral ministry hit me this morning. The first is that I must never forget the weight that comes with the position of pastor. I'm not just here to preach to them. They aren't just here to attend services. I've been given the sacred call to lift them up in prayer before the Lord and to intercede on their behalf. I need to be reminded as Aaron was that the best way I can serve this community of faith is first and foremost in prayer. The second truth is that I'm not strong enough to bare the weight. There's not a week that goes by where I'm not overwhelmed by the insurmountable need of the church God has called me to serve. Just in these past few days I found out one of my pastors has been admitted to hospice because of cancer and one of my youth pastors has just found out his Dad has cancer. Two giant boulders stacked on my shoulders. What will I do with them? My shoulders aren't strong enough. Thankfully, unlike Aaron, I no longer have to serve as High Priest. That's a job only Jesus can handle. His shoulders are strong enough to handle anything and everything I bring Him on behalf of His people. 1 Peter 5:6-7 reminds me to humble myself and to literally role my burdens upon the Lord because He cares for me. It's only pride that would cause me to carry around that which will ultimately crush me. I can't heal cancer but I know a God who can. What's insurmountable to me is a simple solve for Him. When I try to carry that which I cannot handle I'm doing a disservice to those who have the need and to the God I've been called to serve.


Lord forgive me for walking around with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I'm not the high priest, I'm the delivery boy. When someone hands me a need I just need to bring it to You and watch what only You can do! Your shoulders can handle the weight!

Devotions for January 31

Exodus 28,29
Acts 7

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