Of Bells and Leadership

Of Bells and Leadership

31 “Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, 32 with an opening for the head in its center. There shall be a woven edge like a collar around this opening, so that it will not tear. 33 Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. 34 The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. 35 Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he comes out, so that he will not die.

36 “Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: holy to the Lord. 37 Fasten a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban. 38 It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and he will bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate, whatever their gifts may be. It will be on Aaron’s forehead continually so that they will be acceptable to the Lord.

39 “Weave the tunic of fine linen and make the turban of fine linen. The sash is to be the work of an embroiderer. 40 Make tunics, sashes and caps for Aaron’s sons to give them dignity and honor. 41 After you put these clothes on your brother Aaron and his sons, anoint and ordain them. Consecrate them so they may serve me as priests.

42 “Make linen undergarments as a covering for the body, reaching from the waist to the thigh. 43 Aaron and his sons must wear them whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister in the Holy Place, so that they will not incur guilt and die.

“This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants. Exodus 28:31-43

The robe of the priests was to have gold bells around the hem of the garment. When he went in to offer incense, the people would know where he was and what he was doing in the process of sacrifice. The people would also know when he was leaving the altar area. The Lord wanted an intimate connection between the people and the priest, as well as the priest and the Lord Himself, so much so that it was a death penalty not to have the bells jangling.

As the priest entered the Holy Place, the people would know where he was and could offer their own prayers on his behalf. It also made the priest more accountable to the people, not that he needed to be, especially since he was sacrificing to the Lord, who would know his every moment – and thought before he did or said anything. The people also had an unwritten responsibility while the priest was in the Holy Place offering sacrifices: to pray for him as well.

We have just turned an interesting corner in the world. The CoronaVirus crisis was merely the catalyst to a lot of uncertainty and turmoil. Churches canceled their services or put them online for people to watch. As the virus continues to spread, more churches will follow suit.

Church leadership, much like these High Priests, need your prayers for wisdom and discernment. There’s quite a bit of disinformation floating around about the virus and the economy as a whole. Leadership needs to be able to sort out fact from fiction, and it’s not always easy to do with conflicting data.

Leave a Reply