Monday, February 9, 2015

Le-vee-tee-cas

I don’t remember the last time I went in detail through Leviticus (or as they pronounce it, Le-vee-tee-cas), but I’m guessing it was probably in college. But I can tell you for sure the last time my teachers and students at Genesis were taught through Leviticus: never. Until now. And let me tell you, it’s a daunting task. My mind is constantly searching for a new story, a new illustration, a new truth that will bring the light of understanding to their eyes. 

During our first Bible study with the teachers, we were mostly discussing whether there was any value in studying Leviticus at all. If we no longer keep all the rules and regulations of the law, what is the point in studying it at all? Their initial answer? Because maybe we should be keeping the law and doing things like the Israelites did. But a quick perusal of the laws on skin infections in Leviticus 13 had all of them reconsidering that idea. :) Leading them into the understanding that as we study Leviticus, we gain a better understanding of who God is, what He values, and a fuller picture of His perfect salvation plan for the nations was truly incredible. Watching at least bits of understanding start to surface is always one of my most precious joys here. 

The following week as we talked about the 5 sacrifices detailed in Leviticus 1-7, we discussed mercy and justice, and how it would have been impossible for God to be both just and merciful without transferring the shame, guilt, and punishment onto the sacrificial animal. The truth is that the death of Jesus hardly makes any sense at all without understanding the system of atonement put in place in the Old Testament. These teachers and children have not ever really been exposed to these principles before, and my heart yearns for them to have a more complete understanding of the God they claim to know. 

At the same time, my own faith is being strengthen and stretched. It’s truly incredible how detailed our God is. Not even the most minute detail escapes His attention. I so easily get caught up in struggling through life and ministry here, that I forget how enormous my God is, and how intricate His attention. My third water outage this week hasn’t escaped His notice. Or my mispronunciation of “Aaron” (which the kids failed to understand at first). He knows when I worry about the funny noises coming from the back of my car, and listens as I scold the irresponsible boda drivers. He watches as I copy coloring pages, and smiles as I make funny faces at my kids. It is not only the things I consider significant that He also pays heed to. It’s every.single.detail. Leviticus showed the Israelites how to live and worship down to the tiniest aspect of their lives. And now it reminds me that I too can be worshipping in the everyday. the trivial. the mundane. Whether feeding my puppy, lesson planning, scrubbing the dirt off my feet, preparing learning aids, or lighting candles, I can rejoice that my God and Friend is present and involved. He cares so much. He has done everything just to be with me. 

So I’m thrilled to be studying and teaching Leviticus right now. Definitely also terrified in some moments, but so excited to see how Jesus will work in me and each of my 11 teachers and 85 students!

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