Meditation

04/27/2021

The Lord said to Moses, ‘The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the Lord by fire. Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the Lord your God. Anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people. I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on that day. You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. It is a sabbath of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of he month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.’ (Leviticus 23:2632)

Humans overstep God’s good moral limits. We must have ways to repent of our sins and experience renews through God’s atonement and forgiveness.

The Easter season is the Christian parallel to the Day of Atonement. Worship celebration at this season needs to be marked by signs of penitence and renewed relationship with God.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Precious Abba, we all need a sabbath day, from time to time, and this is one which ought to be observed by us all. For ministers, we usually take a sabbath day on Monday, following services on Sunday, because we need to pause and reflect the worship, that we miss out on, because we are involved in leading services on Sunday. It is a time, whereby we need to take in the work we put into sermons from Sundays, and then begin the work for the next week’s services. For our congregations, I pray for those who come to worship God, to listen to the lessons, to hear the sermon, and then to reflect on what that means to you in your own life. Finally Abbe, we realize just how much we love and appreciate all that you do for us and on behalf of us, to help us keep our focus on our relationship with You are all times. It is in Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

A cold church is like cold butter, it doesn’t spread well.

KNOWING GOD:

But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat. You must not eat the blood; pour it on the ground like water. Do not eat it, so that it may so well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy12:2325)

Symbolically and literally, blood is a lifeline. Respect for life must be maintained. Israel had specific diet rules which forced them to remember the value of all living creatures. Christian freedom from such regulations must not cause us to forget to honor and to protect life.

I AM:

Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by crime! The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and your destruction of animals will terrify you. For you have shed man’s blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.” (Habakkuk2:12, 17)

The prophet could not understand why the sovereign Ruler of he universe did not act to establish His righteous order. Sometimes our theology does not square with current reality. We have to join the prophet on the watch tower praying and waiting for God to act.

Violence and bloodshed may bring short-term results to those who impose such methods. God will ultimately reject and punish such methods.

SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:1923)

Paul’s teaching here is of supreme importance as one of he building blocks for a consistent approach to Christian decision-making. Though Paul claimed his freedom in Christ, he still highlighted the need to be sensitive to others’ consciences. Our conscience may not be violated by a particular action, but such an action may be perceived as immoral by other individuals living out of another level of ethical maturity. For hem moral confusion may set in. Does one life life, then, continually bending to the dictates of others’ consciences?

Yes, when the motivation is to nurture others in he understanding of the kingdom of God and to bring honor to God. No, when the bending limits or alters our own sense of maturity in God. A fragile balance results, and constant vigilance to such a tension is necessary. We must avoid an attitude of condemnation and a feeling of guilt. We must seek to mature and help others mature. Above all, we must seek to avoid quarrels and divisions in God’s church. Church unity is more important than my freedom.

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