Bethel UMC and Woodlawn UMC are holding services on Zoom. Sunday School at Bethel UMC will be on Facebook Live and on Zoom.
Torah Reading for February 21 - 27, 2021
Welcome to the first week of the Lent or Preparation season! Last week you heard Jesus speaking to us, saying, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you that everything written about me in the Law of Moses [Torah] and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled…” (Luke 24:44). Jesus, then, did something extraordinary. He opened their minds to understand the scriptures. Jesus said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so, stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high,” (Luke 24:45-49). With this in mind, let us look at this week’s Torah encoded reading, Leviticus 6:8-8:36. In the Hebrew language (God’s sacred tongue) from which our English Bible translation was taken, this week’s Torah encoded reading is called, “Tzav” translated “Command,” see Leviticus 6:8-9.
To understand this, one has to first of all identify the double references in the text. On a superficial linguistic level which is intended primarily for the Jewish audience, the reading focuses on the code “Tzav” translated “Command.” Thus, in the opening part of the reading, we hear God instructing Moses to command Aaron and his sons regarding their duties and rights as priests who offer the animal and meal offerings in the sanctuary. In the central part of the reading, we learn that the fire on the altar must be kept burning at all times. In it are burned the wholly consumed ascending offering; veins of fat from the peace, sin and guilt offerings; and the handful separated from the meal offering. Please note that the priests eat the meat of the sin and guilt offerings, and the remainder of the meal offering. The peace offering is eaten by the one who brought it, except for specified portions given to the priest. The reading ends with God’s instruction concerning the holy meat of the offerings that must be eaten by ritually pure persons, in their designated holy place and within their specified time.
Indeed, on a profound theological level, this week’s Torah reading, “Command” has an important message to us, the Church, the Body of Christ This message is evident when the reading is interpreted in the context of this first week of the Lent or Preparation season. And that is, our offering to God in whatever form that it may take, must be done with a renewed sense of commitment. How do we know that? Listen, again, to God’s Word for us this week: ‘The Lord said to Moses, “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, this is the law of the burnt offering: The burnt offering shall be on the hearth upon the altar all night until the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it,” (Lev. 6:8-9). It is no wonder why the prophet Isaiah said, “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple… “And I said, “Woe is me! For I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.” And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me.” (Isa 6:1-8). Perhaps this is why David exclaimed, “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you” (Ps. 86:5). Paul, therefore, urges us, “Let us not grow weary in doing good for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,” (Galatians. 6:9).
|Adult Sunday School||10:00 AM|
|Worhip Service||11:00 AM|
|Church Wide Bible Study||6:30 PM|
3180 Fort Campbell Blvd.
Clarksville, TN 37042