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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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You're part of the priesthood

Martin Luther's foundational concept lives today in all believers

Martin Luther would be happy to know that there are more than 5 million priests in the ELCA. Look around the pews on Sunday morning, take a gander at the people at Bible study, peek at the folks serving food at the soup kitchen or making quilts or taking the youth group bowling. Imagine them in their daily routines. They — and you — are all priests.

Luther called us members of the "priesthood of all believers," which summarizes a concept based on 1 Peter 2: 4-10 that declares "the common and equal status, dignity and calling of all baptized believers before God and one another" (Historical Dictionary of Lutheranism, 2001). It has remained central to our denomination for almost five centuries.

But this idea is not familiar to every Lutheran.


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