Monday, October 30, 2006

For some reason, in this season of strong natural outdoor pungency, I'm finally appreciating the old time sacrificial system. For instance, a young bull, or a baked bread, or an undefective animal, or a ram, or a tenth of an ephap of fine flour all are outlined for the honor in the chapter of Leviticus.

It's all rather strange still. We like our animals. We hold high the standard we gently call "caretaker" of created life. And, we follow a substitutiary system in the modern faith. However, I find comfort now in knowing that a strong elemental force of spiritual determination involved such sensory activities as burning grain, dipping fingers into blood, and, mostly, laying hands on the animals head in gratitude, honor, and obedience before asking of them the sacrifice.

I think if I lived back then I would cry for the animal, for the warmth of life under the fur, and for the serious commitment that its death would mean. The critter would be unaware in its innocence; the death, for it, would be unjustified. For some reason, I think perhaps this would make me feel even more obligation to attach myself to the meaning behind the symbolic act. It died, therefore, I would live in greater gratitude for what its death meant. Of course, for some, the loss of life itself would mean horror and sorrow and resentment towards the meaning/force behind the act. I've been there myself. Certainly, many wrongful acts of sacrifice have been committed, as we tend to sully things here on earth.

For some reason, though, in this pungent season, I can read this today and appreciate these ways of yielding to the supremacy of Spirit and the methods we've been given to speak to Him. Tangible things of smell and taste and sight, from tangible things like grain, mean, and horns, were the touchstones upon which we demonstrated our desire of communion.

Markers still remain, although different now with the ordained sacrificial act of Christ. I feel elated, at times, to be a part of the intricate, yet simply presented, touchstones of communion which ties back to the earliest records of our faith.

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