Scripture Focus: Leviticus 27.34
34 These are the commands the Lord gave Moses at Mount Sinai for the Israelites.
Reflection: Living Leviticus
By John Tillman
When we read Leviticus, we may ponder, “How can we live like this? Are these commands for us today, or are they only commands for the Israelites gathered at the foot of Sinai?”
The themes of Leviticus are gospel values which we should enact.
Do we value holiness over hypocrisy? Even as it lays out the detailed performance of rituals, Leviticus grounds its purpose not in performative religious acts but in the identity of God and our relationship to him.
So let us take seriously the call to be a distinct and different people who reflect the holiness of God. Let us be not performative or hypocritical but take actions based on who God is and whose we are.
Do we value righteousness and justice? Leviticus levels the ground at the entrance to God’s presence. The rich have no advantage over the poor in seeking God. The wealthy are held responsible for the well-being of the poor and the powerful held responsible for the well-being of the weak. The foreigner and the native-born are commanded by God to be treated one and the same.
So let us, in our individual lives, in our communities, and in our governments, take seriously the call to care for the poor, the weak, and the outsider. Let us uphold the rights of the weak and prevent the powerful from abusing their positions.
Do we honor God with all we have acknowledging that we own nothing? Leviticus demands a willing admission that everything which we might think of as “ours” is truly God’s.
So let us submit to being tenants and no longer claim to be owners. May we recognize that things we have deeds for, receipts for, titles for…they all belong to God. Let us give them over to God and put them to work to earn profits not for our own blessing but to bless others.
We can’t perfectly live out Leviticus but Jesus is our living Leviticus. The Levitical law is completed in Christ, not destroyed. He lived it out on our behalf.
Jesus is the substitute that redeems us. He is the high priest who sanctifies us. His is the blood that makes us holy. It is under his authority that we can turn to others and offer redemption, sanctification, and holiness. Let us do so with love in our hearts and with open, pure hands.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
Our sins are stronger than we are, but you will blot them out. — Psalm 65.3
– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle
Leviticus 27 (Listen – 4:45)
Psalms 34 (Listen – 2:14)
This Weekend’s Readings
Numbers 1 (Listen – 6:21) Psalms 35 (Listen – 3:21)
Numbers 2 (Listen – 3:47) Psalms 36 (Listen – 1:21)
Read more about Shameless to Blameless
Christ was shamed that we could be called righteous. The glory and righteousness he gained, he gives to the humble and repentant.
Read more about Stop Following Old Laws
These laws also were intended to shape God’s people into something new. All nations and empires were (and are) sinful and unjust. Israel was to be different.