Monday, September 29, 2014

Sermon - "Holy People" (Leviticus)

On Sunday, Rev. Joshua Patty preached about the general theme of Leviticus.  The book itself is filled with detailed laws proscribing how sacrifices will be carried out, which festivals will be observed, and what actions made someone ritually unclean.  Admitting that some of these instructions seem completely outdated, he pointed to the underlying theme that is made explicit in Leviticus 19 -- all of these laws are meant to make God's people a holy people.

This means that the point is to help the people learn that the relationship God wanted with them was both a very serious thing and in some ways on a more equal basis than they could imagine.  In identifying them as a holy people, God was trying to make them behave more like God behaved; God was hoping to treat them less like subjects and more like partners and colleagues.  This is a powerful promise of God that continues throughout the Bible.  Sometimes we miss it because we focus on how we are not like God -- how imperfect, mistake-prone, and sinful we are -- without understanding that the point of such realizations is not to make us feel guilty or worthless, but to allow us to live differently so that we can be more like God wants us to be.

You can listen to the sermon here.

You can also listen to the Communion meditation and the closing benediction.