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In Case You Missed It -- Leviticus 3, Psalm 58

Sometimes keeping God’s commands allows reciprocal communication between God and His people. That was the case for the sacrifice called the “peace” or “fellowship” offering. Leviticus 3 does not spell this out so clearly, but when God received this offering, the giver could partake of eating the leftovers of the sacrifice. This offering communicated something of God’s posture towards humanity: God desires fellowship with us. He is willing to eat a meal with His people. Certainly, the sacrifice could be seen as a burden to the giver, yet God is the giver of all good things. In this peace sacrifice, Israel professed God’s worth, and God professed His love for Israel. Today, the ordinances we keep, like Baptism and Communion, allow this reciprocal communication. In the Lord’s Supper, we partake of God’s gift to us through Jesus, communicating that we are satisfied by God. Through Baptism God communicates cleansing of sin and our being united to Jesus’ death and resurrection, and we declare that God deserves our very life. We are right to beware ritual for ritual’s sake, but at the same time, God calls us to participate in certain actions which necessarily form a larger part of His divine communication. Let us be a people that enjoys all the ways in which we can participate in the divine drama of communicating God’s love in a world filled with disdain.

Jeremiah Vaught