Saturday, March 08, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Rejection

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place. Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

“. . . He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.” Leviticus 13:46

Leviticus contains many instructions for God’s covenant people given to protect, to guide in worship, to distinguish them from pagans, and to instruct the priests. The laws concerning “leprosy” offer very specific protocols. At this time, leprosy relates to any disfiguring skin disease; true leprosy, ulcers, burns, psoriasis, fungal infections and other skin diseases fall into this category. While the purposes of these rules are to offer protection and maintain holiness, the diseased person is considered unclean, becomes isolated and must live outside the camp. For these people, this is a place of rejection.

In Leviticus 14:1-18, to cleanse and restore the leper, the priest must go outside to the unclean person and perform certain rituals. With sacrifices, water, blood and oil, the priest makes atonement for the person before the Lord. Similarly, sin creates a spiritual leprosy that infects the soul. Without Christ, grace can only wait to heal our wounds while we remain isolated and broken outside the camp. Christ knows about this place of rejection, having been willing to leave heaven and willing to die for our sins, having been betrayed and crucified outside of Jerusalem. Christ finds us where we are waiting. He becomes the sacrifice, the Living Water, the blood of the Lamb, the Holy Anointing for each person seeking new life. Holy One, You look beyond my unclean, disfigured soul and offer me Grace. No longer broken and alone, I find new life, new hope, new joy, new healing, new community. Count me alive in Christ. No longer separated, I can dwell in the presence of God. ~dho

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Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
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