Day 40

There’s something symbolic about today. The fortieth day of the year. The number 40 is mentioned a lot in the Bible, and here we are 40 days and 40 blogs since the start of the year. I had been asked to read the prayers at this morning’s service in church and I was inspired by the fact that today is called “Autism Sunday”. But the theme of the readings and the hymns was “light”. Jesus is the light of the world. We should not hide our light under a bush, but let it drive out the darkness. And so to tonight’s readings:

Exodus 29 is a blood thirsty affair. God tells Moses what to do in order to ordain Aaron and his sons to be the priests in the Tabernacle. It involves the sacrifice of a young bull and two rams. My mind wandered to the news today. In a zoo in Denmark, a young (apparently healthy) giraffe has been killed and the body fed to the lions. In our culture, such acts seem barbaric and needless. If the giraffe was healthy, why was it killed at all? And why feed the body to another of the zoo’s residents? These are questions that the owners of the zoo will have to answer in the days ahead. Similarly, in Japan, a rare albino dolphin has been captured and put on show. Again, we find this disturbing in our culture of wild animal protection as stewards of the earth. How did Moses feel having to sacrifice some of his animals on a regular basis? Did it make it less traumatic?

Matthew 26 brings us the last supper and then into the garden of Gethsemane. The story is about to build to the horrific crucifixion. I am reminded of the preparation for the sacrifices that Moses had been asked to do.

Psalm 31 includes this in verse 24: “Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!”

Proverbs 8 continues the prayer from Wisdom herself! (8:14) “Common sense and success belong to me.”

So whatever happens in the world, we need to put all our hope in the Lord, and remain strong and courageous. Common sense doesn’t come naturally to some people. It’s our job to help them to see this.

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