Today's Reading: Leviticus 1-4
Many people who attempt to read the Bible from front to back, get stuck in Leviticus. It is a book of details, without a lot of narrative. Not only that, the details are all about sacrifices. Trying to keep track of all the sacrifices, their rituals and what was/wasn't allowed would have kept any group of priests busy.
In our chapters today, we hear about sacrifices for unintentional sins.
For me, these are the trickiest kind.
Many times we offend someone unintentionally, often unknowingly. All of a sudden, someone is mad and we are left in the dark. Everyone else knows our offense but us.
Since this is a common occurrence, can we imagine the obsessive compulsive need to make sacrifice after sacrifice, over and over again? How could one get any thing else done?
We do realize, though, a humble, contrite apology usually soothes the one who has been offended.
The act of sacrifice, despite its multitude of rules and layers of meaning, does have one aspect that intrigues me. Leviticus points often to the "soothing aroma to the LORD."
The aroma therapy of the LORD is not the scent of "vanilla candles." It is cooked meat and baking bread.
God's house, the tabernacle, smelled of roasted lamb, roasted beef, roasted pigeon and baking bread. There was also the smell of frankincense and cinnamon, not to mention the wood burning fire.
I wonder if when God made us in God's image, the LORD gave us nostrils like His. There is nothing more soothing to me than to walk into a house with a pot roast cooking or fresh bread in the oven. If that is the smell of forgiveness, then I want to humbly pull up my chair to the table.
Have you ever noticed how an earnest apology soothes the one who has been offended? It usually changes everything.
Is there an aroma in my life which soothes me?
Is there an aroma in my life which says, "You are welcome here. All is well?"
It is said the olfactory sense bring back memories in a very clear way.
To enter into the presence of God, to smell the aroma of sacrifice, is to be reminded, "I am forgiven. I am God's child. I am Holy unto the LORD."
How restful that aroma is to the soul!