Monday, February 09, 2009

Blood and Guts

"...who made us a Kingdom, Priests for His Father". Rev 1:6

LEVITICUS

It is one of those hard chapters in the Old Testament to get through. All the laws, rites and rituals - what must be done in payment for sin. The offering for accidents versus intentional crimes. It is VERY detailed. Today as I was laboring through the technicalities of the Israelite nation, and mummering "I'm glad I live under grace" another thought came to me. The structure for law and order was not just detailed it was BLOODY!

The third chapter outlines the details of the entrails, the liver, the fat portion, the blood wiped on the altar. GUTS!

In 21st century America we are very far removed from the "blood" of our food source. For most, our meat comes cellophane wrapped, cut in nice neat portions, and underneath the flesh of our animal of choice lies a small absorbent square to improve the eye appeal of the packaging so no "blood" pools around it.

While we might not be gutting the fish we eat, or plucking the chickens we broil, or heaven help us slaughter the cows that dominate our diet - we are (in every century since the resurrection) a "priesthood" of believers.

The Priests serving in the Temple had a dirty, and you can bet smelly job. How did we become so sanitary in our approach to faith? Frankly, although some of the experiences I have had in the field have not been the most pleasant at times (bed bugs, roaches, rats, unfamiliar food and uncomfortable travel) I would take that any day over slinging blood on a gathered crowd of worshipers!

These "priests" in the Harvest of India visited two village churches today. When the program was over and the beaded bracelets were all tied together our interpreter (Pastor Haripaul) presented the Gospel to the children and gave them a chance to accept Jesus as the One true God. At the first church several of the older girls wept during the repentance prayer. It was beautiful to witness. The Blood of the Lamb shed once for all!

Late this afternoon we returned to the Leper Colony where our pilot project Sewing Center was built. The ten women trained wanted to thank us for the life-changing opportunity this has given them. They are now praying for more sewing machines so more women in the colony can be trained and have this experience.

No one wants to sew clothing for the lepers, they had a very difficult time acquiring even the basics needed to cover themselves. Now, they have not only learned to make clothes for themselves and their children - but they also brought out beautiful embroidered clothes and saris with sequined beaded designs. You could see the pride as they unfolded their handiwork. They are "owners" of the machines and "seamstresses" of dignity.

One of the duties of the Priests was to pronounce "lepers" cleansed so they could participate in worship. I was searching for the verse covering this "service" and strikingly found the verse regarding where Jesus was when the alabaster box of oil was poured over His head.

He was in the house of a leper (Simon).

In the 21st century, there IS medicine available to cure leprosy. But there is only love to cure "shame".

Two "priests" from America sat in the presence of the lepers today. We shook their hands, we kissed their children, we rejoiced with them knowing we are covered by the Blood - and so are they!

No gore!
But washed in the Blood