It’s with a bit of a sinking heart that I start on Leviticus with the first four chapters. To be honest, I’m not expecting to find it easy to get through Leviticus and Numbers, finding something new to say each day. We’ll see.
Priesthood and butchery
I mentioned on Sunday that priesthood has changed. And I’m glad. I came into this ministry to pray, to teach people about life with God, to lead them in worship, to care for them – not to take the place of the butcher down the High Street.
But as I read these chapters, I can’t help thinking that we’ve lost something along the way, by making our faith and religion more ‘spiritual’ and intellectual at the expense of the constant reminder of the mess and struggle of life which was involved in the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.
How do we keep our faith grounded and physical, when (thankfully) we don’t drag animals into the sanctuary for slaughter each Sunday? How do we keep ourselves aware that faith really is a matter of life and death?
From your flocks or your harvest – the best, without blemish
Perhaps we can do something in that direction by making sure that our worship is in touch with the rest of our life. Leviticus 1:2 is clear that ‘you shall bring your offering from the heard or from the flock’ – not from SacredSheepRUs. And it shall be ‘without blemish’ – the best of the flock from your own farm, not the leftovers.
We may need to think creatively to bring the best of our flocks into our worship – but one way or another, we must bring the reality of our lives, not just some special religious face that we put on. And What we bring must genuinely be the best we can offer – whether that is much or little.
Worship is still a matter of life and death – it’s just that Jesus has done the dying bit on our behalf.