A Continual Remembrance
“Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment on his heart when he goes into the holy place, for a continual remembrance before the Lord.” – Exodus 28:29
As I packed my office at my last church, I gathered loose index cards from every conceivable surface. Off the file cabinet and floor, tucked in books I’d failed to finish, underneath weeks-old half-mugs of coffee. (People with messy desks are more creative. Someone said.)
I ended up with a thick stack, the accumulation of three years of Friday mornings. On them were the names of members of our weekly prayer group and beside each name, a (barely decipherable) prayer. (People with bad handwriting, too.)
Each week, we wrote down the prayers that others shared and committed to remembering them throughout the week. For someone like me, it helped to have a physical reminder of these prayers, not just so I could recall the details, but so that I could carry these beloved people with me wherever I went. Literally.
The high priest, Aaron, has a similar system. His breastpiece is covered in the names of God’s people. So when he goes into the holy place he can hold them before God. They’re written on his heart. Literally.
Our church believes in the priesthood of all believers. That means we all get breastpieces! (You get a breastpiece! And you get a breastpiece! And you get a breastpiece!)
We have the privilege and the responsibility of carrying each other to God. Maybe you know the names of those who need your prayers by heart. Maybe, like me, you need a reminder. Either way, let’s carry them.
[Insert names and prayers here. Whatever’s written on your heart.]
Vince Amlin is co-pastor of Bethany UCC, Chicago, and co-planter of Gilead Church Chicago, forming now.