Thursday, May 29, 2003

I'm reading The Books of Moses as adapted by Eugene H. Peterson. I'm in Leviticus and let me say it's odd, but dull. All the sprinkle blood here, and burn this fat and wave this meat just doesn't connect with me. But Peterson's intro to Liviticus spoke to me.

One of the stubbornly enduring habit of the human race is to insist on domesticating God. We are determined to tame him. We figure out ways to harness God to our projects. We try to reduce God to a size the conveniently fits our plans and ambitions and tastes.

But our Scriptures are even more stubborn in telling us that we can't do it. God cannot be fit into our plans, we must fit into his. We can't use God – God is not a tool or appliance or credit card.

Holy is the Word that sets God apart and above our attempts to enlist him in our wish-fulfillment fantasies or our utopian schemes for making our mark in the world. Holy means God is alive on God's terms, alive in a way that exceeds our experience and imagination. Holy refers to life burning with an intense purity that transforms everything it touches into itself.

Because the core of all living is God, and God is a holy God, we require much teaching and long training for living in response to God as he is and not as we want him to be.

This sets me up as I read Liviticus to notice that God takes reconciliation very seriously. You don't skimp on reconciliation with a holy God, hence the constant reminders to only use animals with out blemish. Part of me glad that we don't have to deal with the blody mess that was at the core of the old system of reconciliation. But when I realize the same holy God talks about worshiping in Spirit and in truth, I think finding the perfect animal sacrifice in the flock might have been easier. When have I ever had an unblemished spirit to offer God?

- Peace

No comments: