Hierarchies are things of the past. They are vestiges of societies that placed a premium on having privilege. Hierarchies reflect an old covenant way of thinking about God and world order. God is up there, and we are down here. High priests are in the Most Holy Place, and plain-old Levites are down here doing the grunt work. Lords are up there in the castle, and peasants are down here on the grimy side of the moat. Preachers are up there in ornate pulpits, and churchgoers are down here on hard wooden benches. But when “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14), God upended all of it. He obliterated hierarchies.
The new covenant is about undeserved love and has nothing to do with trying to earn privilege. Let the Scriptures interpret the Scriptures. Let the Spirit of Christ put everything in perspective. Let the incarnation of Christ be the grace note that sets the tone for our relationship with God and our relationships with one another. “So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5).
The way forward is in awareness that we belong to one another. If we could think like Jesus thought, we could break down every barrier and shatter every glass ceiling because there is no pedestal. So there’s no point for anyone to try to climb to the top of it.