February 24 – Today’s Readings – Leviticus 22-24 and Psalms 54
Did you notice how Israel was commanded to assemble every Sabbath and at various special times throughout the year? The older I get, the more I believe in “the family of God” – that is the local Church. There is tremendous strength found in community – in family – in corporate worship – in fellowship. Within extended families there are always some relationships that are closer than others, but it is a very comforting thing to realize that – differences and all – we belong. How do we know we belong? Well, visitors at my house don’t have jobs to do but “visitors” know they have become “family” when we invite them to help with the dishes and pay for groceries! So it is with the family of God. We all benefit from the sense of belonging and fellowship but we all contribute to make the family what it is.
I also believe that the “Church Universal” is becoming more and more important as time rushes on. For the sake of God’s glory and for the honour of His Name, Churches need to learn how to cooperate whenever possible and in some cases unite. Jesus said in John 17:23 “I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” When we get along with each other as Churches and as people, it is a tremendous testimony to those outside of Christ. If we are constantly bickering and treating each other badly the world scoffs at the “loving” Church.
I had another thought concerning “touching any unclean thing” – Don’t you think it unusual that Jesus was constantly seen touching or being touched by unclean people? I think there is a “higher” law that operates for those who are in Christ. When God – the “ultimate clean” – touches unclean people like you or me, we become clean – forgiven – justified – sanctified by His grace. This is the reverse of “not touching the unclean thing”. When we, as ambassadors for Christ, touch an unclean person’s life, the hand of God touches them. We affect them and draw them towards holiness – here is evangelism at its best! This is why we are “the salt of the earth” – “the city on a hill” – “letting our light so shine before men”. Salt always flavours things, and many times disinfects things – a city set on a hill can be seen a long way off in the distance – light always overpowers darkness. It is for good reason that Jesus used these illustrations. They perfectly depict how the saints of God affect the world around them. This is a function of who we become when we are called to walk with Jesus.
1. Please comment on some of the “positives” of the Church you attend.
2. If you do not have your share of “chores or contributions” in the Church you attend, make it a point to find a need – and fill it or to contribute substantiallly.
3. Name other instances where Jesus made “unclean” things “clean”?