In Leviticus 4, God tells Moses how the priests, the leaders and the Israelite people can be purified and forgiven of their sins. There’s lots of blood and offerings of various animals, depending on who the sinner is.
But in Leviticus 5, those who cannot afford a goat or a sheet are given a way out. A sort of bargain penalty. That could be two turtle doves or even a quantity of “choice flour”. But it was the reference to “turtle doves” that interested me here. In the Christmas song, two turtle doves are given on the second day. As an offering for sin? What sin? Is there more to this song than meets the eye? It could give a whole new meaning to the list of gifts. (I bet you’re singing it right now!)
Mark 2 and 3 tell of how the Pharisees begin to plan how to kill Jesus. He is angry with them for refusing to help a man with a deformed hand. They tell him that the Sabbath is supposed to be a day of rest. But he replies, (2:27) “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of the people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath!” He heals the man’s hand anyway, and so the Pharisees go and meet the supporters of Herod.
There’s another cry for help in Psalm 36. But the writer has that confidence that God will save him from evil.
We have a very short reading (only two verses) from Proverbs tonight. (10:1) “A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother.” Why are the father and mother rewarded separately? I think this is more to do with the translation that we are using. It would make sense if it was a boy who brought joy to his father and a girl who brought grief to her mother.
Wisdom brings joy.