Hello friends! Welcome to day 2 in our journey through Leviticus. As I was driving into work today I was marveled by how beautiful the autumn season is with the leaves changing and falling. If you get the time today to step outside I hope you will. It's a perfect way to praise God for God's goodness in our lives.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this teach me about humanity?
What doest this teach me about myself?
Would Jesus say amen to this?
- My thoughts -
Ah, the rules for how to handle ones sins, intentional or not intentional. I'm not huge on guilt shaming, which is probably why I dislike the Catholic church so much, but I do firmly believe in confession. In other words, I don't like confession when it's forced or coerced out of me, but I do support confession when it's voluntary. Why? Because of the psychology of it.
Psychologists have shown that full confessions (not partial confessions such as admitting you did wrong but not the full extent of your wrong) leaves those who confessed feeling much better after doing so. They are able to let go of something they carry or something they believe will carry with them for awhile. A full confession acts similar in the brain as forgiveness, allowing the person to forget the details of their wrongdoing and move on with their lives. The worst thing is being in between, the partial confession. The partial confession seems to tear people up the most because its draws to the forefront the discrepancy between memory and the half truth you've just created. Partial confessions seem to cause more of a burden on people than just not confessing at all. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ulterior-motives/201501/why-confessing-is-good-you)
Why am I going on so long about this? Well, I'm a pastor, going on for awhile is what I do :) but also because I think these elaborate methods of confession that God required of the people help them to reach a full confession rather than a simple "my bad God, didn't mean that." Perhaps the loss of property and time of work to cleanse oneself of sin is a helpful deterrent to not do the sin in the first place.
So I think Jesus would say amen to this, kinda. Jesus forgives us of sins without the need for sacrifice, but I do believe Jesus still wants us to confess to receive the full forgiveness and not partial. However, I do not believe Jesus would say amen to the rule that only men may eat of something that makes them holy. These are the moments that I know man wrote the laws and not women. In the moment of creation God creates both man and woman, blesses them, calls both of them very good, and even says both are made in the image of God. And somehow, just 2 books later God changes the rules and says "nope, women suck only men are holy." Get that crap out of my face. Some dudes wrote the rules on this one. Men and women are holy. They are made in the image of God, equally, and anything that says otherwise may be biblical, but it is not Christlike. Now people might argue and say "well Eve is the one that ruined everything" but let us not forget that Aaron, the high priest, just led people to the golden calf literally 13 chapters ago and not God forgave Aaron for leading the people away from God and even blesses him and all his descendants forevermore. I think God can handle forgiveness for Eve for eating some fruit she was manipulated into eating. But that's a different rant for a different day. ;)
Is there something on your heart that you could confess to God to? Is there a tension in your family that a confession might lead to healing? Is there a confession you need to make to yourself to be able to forgive yourself? I know I lit a candle today for a confession that I needed to make. Perhaps you will be inspired to do the same.
Prayer (A Prayer of Confession from the UMC Communion Service)
Merciful God, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart. We have failed to be an obedient church. We have not done your will, we have broken your law, we have rebelled against your love, we have not loved our neighbors, and we have not heard the cry of the needy. Forgive us, we pray. Free us for joyful obedience, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.