Sometimes our leaders need our help. Sometimes the job of the faithful is less than glamorous. That doesn’t make it any less critical, or any less Holy.
Take Aaron and Hur. In Chapter 17 of Exodus, the Israelites found themselves in a battle with a band of people known as the Amalekites. Moses sent Joshua and a group of warriors to fight while he stood on a hilltop. As long as Moses kept his arms raised with the staff of the Lord in his outstretched hands, the Israelites controlled the battle, but whenever he dropped his arms, the Amalekites had the upper hand. Eventually, Moses got tired. Aaron and Hur found him a rock to sit upon, and the two of them held his arms up until sunset, while on the field of battle, Joshua defeated the Amalekites.
Who’s the hero of this story? Joshua and his soldiers certainly did the hard work of the battle. Moses was God’s messenger, delivering the inspiration of the Lord to the army through his raised arms. God himself provided the victory.
But what about the contributions of Aaron and Hur? In this case, God made it clear to Joshua that his strength and skill at fighting weren’t going to be enough to save the day. Moses, messenger of miracles for the Israelites, was not going to be able to do this by himself either. Aaron and Hur had the tedious, glamourless job of simply holding Moses’ arms up. Their part in the battle was critical.
Of course God could have defeated the Amalekites by himself. He could have handed the victory to Joshua a dozen different ways, or He could have given Moses arms as strong as stones. But that’s not how He wants this story to be told. God wants us to recognize that, while there are major battles to be won for Him, those battles are going to take many, many small tasks. God will send us leaders, priests, sisters, and other faith warriors to lead us. But without our support those priests, sisters and warriors will not have enough strength. They need faithful people around them, holding them up when they get tired. Providing them food when they are hungry. Doing the hundreds of un-miraculous things that friends and family members do for one another. Because it’s all a part of God’s interconnected plan for us. And step one of that plan is to lean on each other.