These divisions of the gatekeepers, corresponding to their leaders, had duties, just as their kindred did, ministering in the house of the Lord; and they cast lots by ancestral houses, small and great alike, for their gates. I Chronicles 26: 12 NRSV
I Chronicles spends a lot of time explaining how the Levites were divided and given their duties per household. It seems kind of silly now, but everyone clearly had a job in their trip through the desert. This included the descendants of Aaron as well as the sons of Moses. Now what is each descendant to do? The Ark of the Covenant has a resting place in the City of David. There is no longer to be any traveling. So, they each must have their duties.
In these verses, the gatekeepers are assigned. These are the descendants of Moses. Although they are not to be priests, they are Levites and are set apart for special duties. They won't be involved with the actual Temple duties but are assigned as guards of the gates of God's house. To decide which family gets which gate, lots are cast. I suppose this makes it "fair" and seemingly under God's decision.
Most churches today don't have gatekeepers but they do have such folk as ushers and greeters. Instead of lots, my church either looks at someone's Spiritual Gifts and/or willingness to have that assignment. This scripture reminds me that our church should probably be more intentional about who becomes our gatekeepers.
Do you have any assigned role in your church? What is it and do you feel that is where God wants you to serve? If you don't, would you like to have one? How would you like to see your church assigning duties and service?
God, you call all of us to serve you. Help us find the best way to know your will for our lives in service to you. In Jesus' precious name we pray. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims