A Daily Dose of Good News
Monday, May 25, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online atand will remain available throughout the day and the week.
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Good morning everybody! Happy Memorial Day! It’s May 25th and our Daily Dose of Good News comes from Leviticus today- chapter 9. And you may be thinking, Leviticus?! Isn’t that where there’s all those rules and regulations?! Where’s the good news in that?! But it’s in there. So, 9:1-11 and then we’ll jump to :22-24.
On the eighth day Moses summoned Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. 2 He said to Aaron, “Take a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the Lord. 3 And say to the people of Israel, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering; a calf and a lamb, yearlings without blemish, for a burnt offering; 4 and an ox and a ram for an offering of well-being to sacrifice before the Lord; and a grain offering mixed with oil. For today the Lord will appear to you.’” 5 They brought what Moses commanded to the front of the tent of meeting; and the whole congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. 6 And Moses said, “This is the thing that the Lord commanded you to do, so that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.” 7 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Draw near to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people; and sacrifice the offering of the people, and make atonement for them; as the Lord has commanded.”
8 Aaron drew near to the altar, and slaughtered the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. 9 The sons of Aaron presented the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; and the rest of the blood he poured out at the base of the altar. 10 But the fat, the kidneys, and the appendage of the liver from the sin offering he turned into smoke on the altar, as the Lord commanded Moses; 11 and the flesh and the skin he burned with fire outside the camp.
Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them; and he came down after sacrificing the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the offering of well-being. 23 Moses and Aaron entered the tent of meeting, and then came out and blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 Fire came out from the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.
Now, you may think: that’s pretty gory and heavy stuff to be reading, first thing in the morning. True. It is. And our sin is heavy stuff and it can also be gory and difficult to look at, at any time of day. We don’t always like to look at our sins. We like to shove them under the rug and pretend like they don’t exist. But this passage is about God instructing the people to bring their sins before Him, to atone for them through these sacrifices of these animals, so they can see the glory of God. It is the way that God forgives them and sets them free. And rather than them carrying these heavy burdens, they’re dissipated, like the smoke in the sacrifice.
Sins are heavy things to look at. Often people carry sins around for years. I know when I did my CPE for seminary in Cincinnati, part of that time was in hospice. I had more than one, who had been in war and who talked about how there were things that occurred in war, that were beyond their control, and they were upset about and that had been difficult. And they had carried these components in a heavy way for years and years. Often, they were worried. Had God forgiven them? Or was God still angry at them for those things which had occurred? Could God be angry at them? Might God be angry at them? These were fears that they wrestled with. And it’s something I think is really important for us to remember on this, Memorial Day. Whether they are things that we remember, and that we have carried for years, or for days or for hours. remember that God calls us to bring our sin before God. Jesus was the ultimate atonement sacrifice for all of us, carried all our sins to the cross for us. So we could live in forgiveness and newness of life. Without carrying these burdens. So we could be forgiven and our sins could be like smoke, dissipated.
So today, I think, is a good day, Memorial Day, to remember whatever sins or things we carry, whatever things God seems to be indicating separate us from God. Instead of shoving them under the rug, to bring them before God. So that God can make reparations, so that God can forgive us. We often can’t fix our sins, necessarily, but God can forgive us for them. But we do need to acknowledge them, we do need to bring them out, we do need to talk to God about them.
Because God doesn’t want us chained by them. God doesn’t want us to carry that heaviness.
God wants to dissipate them like smoke, so that we can have a blessing.
So today, I know many of you will be grilling out, so even in those moments, when there’s smoke coming off the grill, you can pray right then. God, I release these things which feel like sins before me, before You, of mine, to You. I release these, God. God, I confess these. God, I don’t want to carry these anymore and I know that You have forgiven me, I thank You for that.
I ask that you enjoy the day. And I ask that you remember how loved you are by God, how forgiven you are by God- more than you can ever imagine. Have a great day everybody. Bye-bye.