Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Daily Devotion for Day 25 of Lent 2016

Scripture Reading: Exodus 24 (NRSV)

I mentioned in confirmation class on Sunday that we don't offer blood sacrifices during worship anymore.  Can you imagine what that would look like on a Sunday morning to slaughter an ox and dash its blood against the altar?

To collect its blood and dash it against the congregation?
When we take our offering plates
to the altar table during worship,
we are reminded of the sacrificial
giving that we undertake.

I would think that the dry cleaning bill for my robe would increase substantially!

The blood sacrifice is serious business.  To see the death of an animal and have its blood smeared across you would certainly leave an impression.  For many of the laws that had been given, the consequence was death to break them.  This act brings that message home to the people.  The underlying implication is that this will happen to you if you break these laws.

It would be very sobering indeed.

When we make a covenant with God today, it is made through the water of baptism.  It is a washing away rather than a smearing with blood.

The death imagery is still present when immersion is used as the person dies to the old self under the water and is brought back from the dead resurrected as a new person in Christ when they emerge.

Making a covenant with God is still serious business.  From time to time, it is good to re-evaluate our own covenant with God to remind ourselves of the seriousness of our undertaking.

Photo by Andrew Schaeffer of First United Methodist Church of Edmond, Oklahoma

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