Priesthood of all believers
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2.9
Peter's cherished exhortation is not something he spouted off the cuff or dreamed up of his own accord. Its roots lie in the covenant God made through Moses with Israel - at the birth of the nation following the escape from Egypt. Nor does it end there... In his Revelation of the God's intention for the whole of creation now and in the future, John repeats the call for God's people - Jews and now gentiles too - to be a royal priesthood.
So what does that mean for us - who have one great high priest, who has fulfilled the law and annulled the temple system of animal sacrifice? Rather than animal sacrifices we offer the sacrifice of praise. And we present that sacrifice in gratitude for what God has accomplished through Christ on the cross and not as a desperate means of covering our sinfulness - because that has been dealt with. The offering we present is in response to Jesus, to whom we bear witness, and for whose sake we are resourced by the Holy Spirit to reach out to a broken world in mercy, elevating its needs in our prayers.
Noble work indeed - but costly and often dangerous. And so we pray for and support each other. All believers are called into this service, where there is no hierarchy but all are equipped according to our circumstances.