A pastor, a priest, and a rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, “Is this some kind of joke?”
Get it? A joke? See, it’s just that when all three… usually they… aw, forget it.
As you probably know, I’m a pastor. And I kinda like it. But I’ve been thinking that maybe priests and rabbis have a place, too. Stay with me, I’ll explain. Can we drop the theological connotations for now (I’m a Jesus-follower) to focus on the function of each?
A pastor, quite literally, is a shepherd who cares for the sheep by leading them (his or her congregation).
A priest is an ordained minister with the authority to administer certain rites and sacraments.
A rabbi is a scholar teacher, and in Jesus’ day, a kind of guru who took on followers as students.
After reading these functional definitions, I think I may just be more of a rabbi than a pastor. Weird, huh? As familiar as evangelicals are with their pastors, I think we all need a pastor, a priest, and a rabbi to walk into
a bar… uh, our lives. That’s not a joke. We need people in our lives who care enough to lead us. We need people willing to be Jesus with skin on to us. And we need to be taught.
Taking this a step further, I think we’re all called to take on these important roles in some capacity.
We’re all called to take an interest in people’s spiritual well being, taking the lead wherever God calls us. Right? And we’re all ordained by God to live as sacramental channels so that Christ can flow through us into others. Not only that, we’re all called to be students of scripture so we can share the truths of God with people hungry for his reality.
So there you have it: You woke up today a regular Joe, digested this blog post, and now you’re a pastor. A priest. And a rabbi.
Go get ’em.
Just be careful when you walk into a bar.