Pastor’s Blog – March 8

“Again: for every creature’s life, its blood is its life. That is why I have told the Israelites: You must not consume any creature’s blood because every creature’s life is its blood. Anyone who consumes it will be cut off” (Leviticus 17:14, CEB).

             I am reading through the Chronological Bible this year. The daily assignments follow the timeline of events recorded in Scripture. Presently, I am making my way through the book of Leviticus. For those who are a bit squeamish at the sight of blood, Leviticus may test your limits.

             The primary focus in Leviticus is on Tabernacle sacrifice. Bulls, goats, and pigeons were the primary objects used in sacrificial worship. During high holy events, the blood of these animals was likely ankle deep in some places. The sight of such carnage to those of us today would be nauseating.

             However, blood in both the Old and New Testaments held a powerful meaning. Blood was a simultaneous expression for the transition from death to life. Consider Israel’s first Passover when blood was smeared on the lintels of Jewish home. In this instance, blood marked the moment or season of transition between death and new life.

             I am pleased that Holy Communion was served during the return to in-person worship last Sunday. For me, the celebration of the sacrament was a powerful symbol of transition from the death pangs brought about by the global pandemic to the signs of life I see on the horizon. Baseball will be returning to Great American Ballpark in less than a month. Students are being welcomed back to school throughout the nation. Vaccinations are rolling out more swiftly than had been expected.

             Additionally, I see new sprigs of life growing through the life of the church. Several families have joined St. Paul Community by worshipping with us via livestream on Facebook and You Tube. The community prayer ministry will be doubling its efforts throughout Madeira as Easter approaches. A group of students are preparing for a mission trip to Niagara Falls this summer. Jesus said, “Look! I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5, CEB).

             Brian Wren celebrated the hope of transition through the opening verses of the following hymn:

 

This is a day of new beginnings,

time to remember, and move on,

time to believe what love is bringing,

laying to rest the pain that’s gone.

 

For by the life and death of Jesus,

love’s mighty Spirit, now as then,

can make for us a world of difference,

as faith and hope are born again.

 

Then let us, with the Spirit’s daring,

step from the past, and leave behind,

our disappointment, guilt, and grieving,

seeking new paths, and sure to find.

 

Christ is alive, and goes before us

to show and share what love can do.

This is a day of new beginnings,

our God is making all things new.