My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense.
(2 Chron. 29:11)
In this verse King Hezekiah challenges the priests in their service before God. Things had not been going well for the priests prior to this time. Hezekiah’s father, the former king, had turned away from God. The temple had been closed and desecrated.
When Hezekiah became king the temple was reopened. However, before the public worship of God could take place again, two things had to happen. First the priests had to reconsecrate themselves and second they had to purify the temple. They accomplished both tasks and the result was great joy in renewed worship of God.
The lessons for us in our work today are challenges of purification. What do we need to get rid of both internally and externally so that we can function best in our calling as church communicators?
We may not have a temple, but we have a computer. It may not be defiled with idol worship, but we must be very careful not to use software, images, or files of any kind that are illegally copied. Years ago (when typefaces cost hundreds of dollars each) I was offered a pirated version of the entire Adobe type library. I had very little money, was trying to get a Christian design business started, and wanted it badly, but doing desktop publishing for the Lord with pirated software would not have been right. It wasn’t easy to say no.
Today, I have more typefaces junking up my hard drive than I know what to do with. Seems like a little thing now, but it was a difficult battle at the time. For me it’s been a good lesson to remember that some things I think I can’t do without right now aren’t worth the price of compromising my values.
Like the priests we must also purify ourselves. Each of us knows the garbage inside that keeps us from functioning at our best. Sometimes it’s a complaining or fault-finding spirit; sometimes it’s envy or anger; sometimes it’s cowardice of not trusting God when we know we need to say “no” to a project. Whatever it is, we can confess our shortcoming to the Lord and he will “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).
With the external and internal housekeeping done, like the priests of Hezekiah’s time, we can then do our church communication duties with joy.