Sunday, February 25, 2024



                                                      (Tiger swallowtail in my back yard.)

On this Sunday morning (2/25/24) I preached on the book of Leviticus. In the process of preparing I found out that Leviticus is one of Tristan Curry's favorite biblical books. I asked her why, and she wrote me this. (Tristan is married to our co-pastor, Tim Curry.)

1. I love Leviticus, because I believe we gain a greater understanding of the holiness of God. He is so much greater than humans, so completely and utterly different. I think it helped formulate my understanding of  "You are God, and I am not." God's holiness, His "otherness" or "separateness" is one of the things that has actually brought me great comfort. His holiness to me, is a picture of his steadfastness, and stability. My life before Christ did not feel stable in many ways.
2. I love Leviticus, because in it, God reveals his love for his people. His expectations for His people are clear. There is no wondering about what it is that he expected of the Israelites. After freeing them from years of captivity, showing them the way to live shows us his love and kindness. This is in opposition to idol worship and the uncertainty that accompanied the worship of false gods - could they ever be appeased? what would they do next? Now, through Jesus and the infilling of the Holy Spirit, we are able to walk in obedience to the will and expectations God has for his people.
3. I love Leviticus because I can see God's mercy in it. He lays the foundation and shows clearly what the people need to do to be restored to a right relationship with God. Our holy God, shows the way for his sacred people to approach his presence in the sacred space.
4. I love Leviticus because it taught me that it is God who makes his people holy. In chapter 20;7-8, 24, 26 God says "I am the Lord, who makes you holy." "I have set you apart from the nations" "Be holy to me... because I am holy. I have set you apart from the nation to be my own." It was my understanding of these verses, many years ago, where my love of Leviticus blossomed.  God makes his people holy. Following rules and laws is not what makes his people holy. Holiness, and righteousness is the work of God in us. Our appropriate response to God making us holy, is to be obedient to him in all the ways he expects. (to be clear, I do not believe God is still expecting us to follow levitical law, because what Jesus has done is infinitely far superior to what was required in the levitical law.)
5. I love Leviticus, because it reveals God's desire to be in the midst of his people. The book is about teaching the ancient Israelites what ritual impurity is, how to cleanse themselves from ritual impurity, teaching them what offerings to bring when they want to approach the presence of God. He delivered them so that they could come into his presence, as much as people can come into the presence of a holy God. Obviously, now because of Jesus we can boldly approach God's throne. That's far superior to what the ancient Israelites could do, but I love and am beyond thankful that God desires to be with his people.