I stared at today’s readings for a while. A number of little things jumped out.
The Numbers and Mark readings both talked about the Passover and sacrifices for sin. If I had time, I’d put together a spreadsheet to understand this whole sacrifice system. It’s crazy! And to think ONLY this year did I realize a GOAT was used in the primary sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. A lamb’s blood was on the doorposts at the first Passover. Of course, Jesus does it all: atones for our sin, removes our sin (scapegoat), and protects us from death as our passover lamb. And it all comes together at the Last Supper.
I’m not usually the Psalm-type, but I like these verses:
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Psalm 34: 8-10)
I was talking to a friend tonight about my commitment to be more thankful (already failed today!). She has a child with an incurable disease which can be hugely debilitating. I’ve a not-well husband who’s been out of work 7 years and a financial situation which has been turned on its ear. We both feel like we have lost something we have the right to: normal lives (whatever that means). Yet Jesus gave up His rights in order to serve and save us (yes, we’ve been studying Philippians 2:5-11).
But this Psalm (and other Scriptures) tell us that what God has allowed (we Presbyterians say “ordained”) is GOOD. We really LACK NOTHING (we have Him). We lack NO GOOD THING. It doesn’t FEEL that way, but God has a whole different idea of what GOOD and LACK are. GOOD is knowing Jesus. LACK is not knowing Jesus. And God will do whatever He deems necessary for our GOOD to increase.
My friend and I agree with all of this in principle. But it’s still hard to thank God when life sucks (according to our own personal definitions).
And of Worship
And then there’s that lady (traditionally Mary Magdalene) in Mark’s reading who poured perfume all over Jesus. Honestly, when I read that Philippians passage about all Jesus did to serve and save me, I should hit the ground in awe, so enamored of Jesus that I’d pour perfume over him and kiss his feet, too.
But I don’t.
It’s easier to sell the perfume and give it to the poor. Works is easier than real, costly worship.
Oh, Lord, Help me to truly “get” your sacrifice, thank you for the GOOD, and worship you as I never have. Amen.
Today’s Readings: Numbers 27:1-28:31, Psalm 34:8-14, Proverbs 11:29, Mark 14:1-26. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts.