(1 Chronicles 23:28-32)
28 The work of the Levites was to assist the priests, the descendants of Aaron, as they served at the house of the Lord. They also took care of the courtyards and side rooms, helped perform the ceremonies of purification, and served in many other ways in the house of God. 29 They were in charge of the sacred bread that was set out on the table, the choice flour for the grain offerings, the wafers made without yeast, the cakes cooked in olive oil, and the other mixed breads. They were also responsible to check all the weights and measures. 30 And each morning and evening they stood before the Lord to sing songs of thanks and praise to him. 31 They assisted with the burnt offerings that were presented to the Lord on Sabbath days, at new moon celebrations, and at all the appointed festivals. The required number of Levites served in the Lord’s presence at all times, following all the procedures they had been given.
32 And so, under the supervision of the priests, the Levites watched over the Tabernacle and the Temple and faithfully carried out their duties of service at the house of the Lord.
I have been an assistant in many different capacities over the years. I’ve been a secretary, a personal assistant, a wife (yes, that’s an assistant, too), a mother, and a classroom instructional assistant. As a child, I was often my mother’s little assistant — following after her and learning much of what I know how to do today, by watching and and mimicking her. I guess assisting is just something I’m good at! I enjoy the routines and systems that are such an important part of the upkeep of people and places. It takes a lot of dedication and care to be able to maintain it all sometimes, but for me, just knowing that I helped (and that I did a good job while doing so) is highly gratifying and fulfilling. I may not always have the best attitude about life, or even about doing things that I feel obligated to do, but my general notion is that I genuinely want to be helpful. So I guess that’s why I’ve always considered myself a Levite in spirit.
I want to encourage you today, if you are one of the quiet ones — against the wall, watching and waiting, unsure of what you can do, yet all the while carrying a deep desire to pitch-in somehow. You may have to step away from the wall a bit, in order to be obedient, but God has given you that desire because He needs you. You are a Levite! And even though the way that we do church today is much different than the way the Israelites ran their Temple, there is still a very specific order and way in which things have to be done…and those things can’t be done without steadfast, faithful and responsible Levites…the core remnant…the few…the proud. If you are called to assist, with the God-given gift of helps, please know what a valuable gifting that truly is to have! These routine tasks that the Levites did, they were not menial they were (and are) MONUMENTAL. You matter! Your hands, your heart, your ideas, your consistency and dedication are all needed and valued! Whether you vacuum floors, swish a brush around in the toilets each week, pick up bottled water for the pastor when needed, sing on the praise team, play an instrument, teach a class, change some diapers, shake some hands, replace the tissues and anointing oil when they run low, clean the church kitchen every so often, fix things, paint, take part in a special program or an outreach, serve on a board or committee to help make decisions…I could easily go on…but you get the idea!
There is much to be done, and it is ALL important. Take one component out of the equation, and we have a system that begins to suffer. Just like my principal always says to us when we have to miss a day, “There is no replacement for YOU!” In our school, every single staff member, no matter the job, is needed and part of an active, working system. Likewise, you have a place in the body of Christ, and don’t you ever doubt that! So…step out and put your hands to whatever needs doing, be a Levite, and faithfully carry it out! You matter more than you know, and the sacrifice of your time and energy will never once go unnoticed by your Heavenly Father!
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for making us each so carefully and so differently. You have called us all in varied ways, yet individually…according to Your purpose and Your plan. I pray now that You would remove the shrouds of intimidation and self-consciousness from those who feel called to assist — to be Levites in Your house — giving revelation and freedom, enabling them see and carry out their purposes and parts in the work that sustains the body of Christ. As always, help us to do everything unto You…giving You all of the glory, all of the honor, and all of the praise…forever. Amen.