Living Leviticus

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

Today’s Readings
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.

The New Day :: Worldwide Prayer

Psalm 34.1-3
I will extol the Lord at all times;
   his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
   let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
   let us exalt his name together.

Reflection: The New Day :: Worldwide Prayer
By John Tillman

Every year, the dark of Winter begins to recede as the light of Christmas comes. The Church set the celebration of Christmas at the point of the winter solstice specifically for the teaching metaphor astronomical science provided.

Easter however is set around a historical date and time. Easter and the dates directly related to it, are the only celebrations of the church year that happen on the dates they actually occurred.

Easter’s date, at least at the beginning, was related to the date of Passover, which was set, not by any calendar of modern or ancient man but, by God. In many ways, Easter is the true beginning of the Church year. It is where the fresh newness of life springs up. It is where the root of the church sprouts.

So, although most of our readers are not blessed with the tropical climate of Trinidad, we join today in this joyous prayer, thanking God for the return of life, the return of warmth, and for the strength to walk into a new day with all its struggles and challenges. As this prayer asks, may we worship, slow down, and live in fruitfulness.

Prayer of joy for a new day from Trinidad
Lord, on this new day you have given me,

Let me worship you…
With thanksgiving for the life giving warmth of this tropic sun
In song with the morning wind rustling the leaves
In dance with the chatter of birds and the buzz of bees

I praise you for these songs and sounds of joy.

Lord on this new day you have given me,

Slow me down…
Lead me to restful retreats in the midst of this busy life
Guide me to truth and protect me from sinful dangers
Uphold me as a living sign of your presence in my life.

Let me be eager to tell of your eternal goodness.

Lord on this new day you have given me,

Let me live…
By your grace to face the challenge and the hardships.
With your joy to celebrate that all things come from you.
With divine compassion to reach all those who need your love.

I pray for the fruit, gift, and fullness of your Holy Spirit.

In the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I pray.

Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he has done for me. — Psalm 66.14

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Leviticus 27 (Listen – 4:45) 
Psalm 34 (Listen – 2:14)

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Read more about A New Day :: Worldwide Prayer
Every day is a new beginning
Every day is a new challenge
Every day is a new opportunity
Every day is a new invitation to trust you…

Read more about The Eighth Day
The first day of the week, most commonly called the Lord’s day—the kyriaka or dominica—was taken as a celebration of the three great events of salvation history: creation, resurrection, and consummation.