Today's Reading: Leviticus 8-10
There is a nonchalance in our churches and in our worship.
We seem to see God in a familial sort of way. Children run through the sanctuary playing. We chit and chat. We drink coffee. We leave our trash on the pews. We laugh. We talk during the opening music. We check our watches hoping the worship won't last much longer than an hour. We write in our Bibles and doodle on our bulletins. We yawn during hymns. We wear everyday clothes. We pick apart God's word. We feel we have a right to doubt. We are comfortable with God.
We are comfortable with God.
When we read the story of Leviticus, we can't help but notice the difference in worship patterns and protocol.
Moses, especially, was serious about worship. When he called the congregation together for the ordination of Aaron and sons, they came and stood outside. And stood, and stood...eight days they stood. And during this time, all sorts of butchering and baking took place.
Now, I have been to a butchering, and let me tell you, it is not a quick and simple task. Nor is it a clean task. It takes strength, skill and time. According to our reading today, I note bulls, calves, rams, goats, lambs, and oxen all being slaughtered in various numbers, three or four for each priest, not to mention the baskets of bread. There was a lot of blood and oil and fire and water and flour involved, all done in these beautiful new priestly garments.
And these tasks of killing, gutting, anointing, consecrating, mixing, baking and offering of sacrifices were all very specifically carried out. In fact, if the killing, gutting, anointing, consecrating, mixing, baking and offering was done in the wrong way, at the wrong time, or in the wrong place, there were consequences, deadly consequences.
I don't think Moses would have been a popular pastor in today's church. Too obsessive. Too compulsive. Too meticulous. Not very personal. Too serious.
There was no room for error. You mess up, you die. Simple as that. And those who would want to mourn the errant ones are forbidden to grieve. It would insult God.
Yes, we are comfortable with God.
Perhaps, too comfortable.
Moses believed God was God.
If God said to do something a certain way, he was going to make sure it was done that way. No wiggle room.
Straight and narrow.
Are we more comfortable with God because we are smarter, more advanced, more theologically evolved?
Or are we the foolish ones--actually, the very stupid ones--who do not understand what God's holiness is all about?
I think God is serious.
Serious about who He is.
Serious about who we are.
Serious about what He expects.
Serious about what we lack.
Serious enough to lay Himself on the line.
Serious enough to die for who He is and what He wants for us.
I think God is dead serious.
I think I'm very foolish.
I think I'm too comfortable.