I am so glad I’m not an Old Testament priest.
I just read the first three chapters of Leviticus (that’s our reading today in our community-wide reading plan). Their duties included killing animals, snapping the heads off of birds, delicately carving out the insides of animals, cooking (I’m a terrible cook) and top it all off with splattering blood on the altar. All of these things were representative of God using the sacrifice of these animals as a sign of the atonement for our sins. But it doesn’t make it any less gross.
Sounds like a job for my good friend John Gum (he likes hunting). For me, however, not so much (I don’t like hunting). But something really stuck out to me today. It was the care that was found by the priests in just doing what God told them to do. Does this make any sense when I read this? Not really. Why these rules and rituals? Because God said so. And that was enough for them.
I am struck by the amount of obedience this took. The amount of time. Hours upon hours. All so that this could be “a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.” That phrase is used over and over again through these first three chapters (I’m reading the New Living Translation). That’s so beautiful. I find myself asking today, “what’s my special gift to you, Lord?” And I honestly can’t answer that yet as I reflect on this today.
God…help this to resonate with me today. What is my special gift that I intentionally prepare for you today?