Sorry about last night’s downer. Something in the air, perhaps…
Leviticus! Yes, we’re here already! I only know one thing about Leviticus and that’s this: it’s got lots of rules in it. As far as I know, this is the book where the Israelites start adding more rules to the ones that God has given them. I hope to learn more in the coming days…
Leviticus 1, 2 and 3. God tells Moses how to bring acceptable sacrifices to the Tabernacle. What interested me was (2:1) “When you present grain as an offering… sprinkle it with frankincense.” Echoes of Jesus’ birth. Even here!
The instructions for a Peace Offering are even more specific. After the animal has been sacrificed and prepared, God gave this instruction: (3:17) “You must never eat any fat or blood [of a goat].”
I wonder why? What was different about a goat? Was it seen as a lesser animal? How does this commandment fit with those who eats goats cheese?
In Mark 1, the pace continues with a breathless race though some healings and a woman raised from her sick bed. She prepared a meal for them because she felt so well.
And, finally, the pace slows a bit. We are told about a man who is healed of leprosy. Jesus tells him to go to the temple and take an offering, according to the Law of Moses. This is a direct link to what we’ve been learning about in the Old Testament. But this man doesn’t do that. He runs round telling everyone that Jesus had healed him. Jesus is now surrounded by large crowds and cannot find any secluded places.
Mark 2 starts with the religious teachers accusing Jesus of blasphemy because they say he can’t forgive sins. He replies, (2:8) “Why do you question this with your hearts? Is it easier to say… ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘stand up’…?” So he turns to a paralysed man and says, (2:11) “Stand up… go home.”
And the man jumps off his mat and walked out. Thus proving that he has the power to both heal and forgive.
Yesterday’s Psalm 35 reading offered no relief to those suffering from the awful extreme weather. (35:17) “How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing?” (35:23) “Wake up! Rise to my defense! Take up my case, my God and Lord.” But no comfort here again tonight.
Wisdom is speaking to us in Proverbs 9. She tells us about a woman named Folly. We all know her. (9:13) “[She] is brash. She is ignorant and doesn’t know it. She calls out… ‘Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret is the best!'” Have you ever sneaked a little midnight snack? And didn’t it taste good? But beware: (9:18) “Her guests are in the depths of the grave.”
Who do you follow? Wisdom or Folly?