Sunday, 16 April 2017
Often as we read through Scripture, we are tempted to read past or pay less attention to certain portions. The book of Leviticus, which we have begun reading now on Shabbat, falls into that category. When we read of the sacrifices and the specifics of how they were to be made, we may only remember a few things like the sacrifice had to be without blemish. One thing we may overlook is how messy this worship was. One story described this kind of work as simply "bloody visceral work". Don't forget, not only was a killing required, but the animal had to be processed as well.
Over the last few weeks, for chapters and chapters, we have read how skilled craftsmen and women contributed to the art and beauty of the Tabernacle, a place of worship. Gold, silver, bronze and fine woven threads are described in detail … And now, immediately following this, we see the messy part of worship. Among other things, this should remind us that sin creates mess. It should remind us that maintaining relationships is work, and messy work at that. It should, however, also remind us how much G-d values us.
One of the more commonly said phrases is "cleanliness is next to Godliness" and it is often quoted as Scripture, yet this passage illustrates how far from truth this saying is! Our challenge is to remember that it's not about being clean. We are a people who are called out - being called out is messy and this is part of our testimony: it doesn't look perfect. Rather, it looks like us relying on G-d during the messy times because that's when Yeshua in our lives can be demonstrated the most with those who don't have him.