The following is from guest writer, Louis Sutton.
“I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God,
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”
Bechir’s wrinkled dark skin and white hair were the only features that betrayed the fact that he was one of the oldest men in the Chadian town of Adre. Otherwise his energy, his delight in life, his satisfaction and continual hard work surpassed even men half his age. Bechir and I became good friends through my frequent visits to the local area governor’s house where Bechir would greet me at the door, offer me some water and a seat, then scurry off to notify the governor of my arrival. Bechir was a servant in the governor’s house, a position he had held for perhaps 50 years. He had served the French colonial governors who brought their fine china and wine to this end of the Sahara desert and he served the Chadian officials in the now old and run-down mansion. He had served the good and the corrupt. The dramas he had seen and the stories he told were amazing. But was most amazing was his delight in what he did. He loved serving. He loved being a part of the bigger picture. He counted it a privilege to do even the lowest of tasks. The joy radiated from his face.
That same joy in service radiates from the words of the psalmist in Psalm 84 who called it privilege to take even the lowest of positions in the activities of the faithful. The psalm was written by one speaking from experience. It is attributed to the “sons of Korah” who were a portion of the Levitical tribes called upon for various services in the temple. But perhaps the lowliest and most “mundane” of those roles was that of “doorkeeper”. In this verse the psalmist’s point was that privilege and delight are found in even the lowliest of roles served for the greatest of causes. For him service was not duty, not sacrifice, nor obligation, but a privilege.
So too our own service in the church, no matter what the role, is best understood not as duty but privilege. It is a privilege to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, to serve something, and someone eternal and truly significant. It is a privilege to make a difference, no matter how humble the task. It is a privilege to serve in the company of others committed to the same truths and vision. True, our service is crucial and needed. The church couldn’t exist without our participation in its ministry. But ultimately it is a privilege. One to be embraced, entered into, and enjoyed.