Today’s Scripture Selection: Leviticus 23:1
(As we resume our chronological walk through the scriptures, we are jumping ahead to Leviticus, chapter 23. Here, after we have been presented with the various rules and regulations regarding worship, we are reminded that at their core, they remind the people of one critical thing: the holiness of God and of how, as God’s people, they are to make living holy lives their central priority.)
“The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed feast, the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you are to proclaim at sacred assemblies.”
Some people make a lot of religion.
Others couldn’t care less.
Some walk so carefully, religiously speaking, one might wonder how they can relax and enjoy life at all. Their lives are joyless, compulsive, obsessive went it comes to matters of ritual purity – whatever their particular religion might be.
Others fly by the seat of their pants, acting as if anyone who “reveres” anything is some sort of “religious” nut. Their lives are wild, undisciplined, self-serving went it comes to matters of ritual purity – something they quickly dismiss as mere superstition at best.
Still others strike to find some balance between these two extremes.
For the Israelites – religious ritual, festivals, holiness, was something they took very seriously – at least part of the time.
Sometimes they “overdid” it – making an idol out of their very religion. Sometimes it was as if there was no God – they were gods themselves.
Thousands of years later, we must face the same challenge.
We must somehow find a way to live the holy lives God would have us live – yet not become obsessed with matters of religion – “works” righteousness.
It’s a delicate balance. It’s found, I believe, by focusing on relationship more than ritual, no matter how beautiful that ritual might be.
I have no problem with rituals – after all, I am an ordained minister. I spend a good part of my life performing them.
I just don’t want them to become little gods in themselves.
How about you?