Prayer for the day
Our help is in the Name of the Lord; the maker of heaven and earth.
Scripture for the day
“A holy nation.” These days, those words conjure up pictures of religio-politcal alliances, right-wing conservative desires for the re-religioning of countries, the mixture of church and state, and the violence done in the name of religious politics and political religion.
The original intention of God, however, in the First Testament was to create a holy nation that was distinctly different form the nations around them. Holy was a term used not to designate overly religious, but set apart by God for a special purpose.
The people of Israel received the law from the God of Israel in order that they might stand apart from the nations, living not according to the way of their neighbours, but according to the way of God. They were to stand as an example of the life God desired.
This life that God desired was as a people living in the presence of God. They were separated by the veil, but were the people who were able, by the priests, to at least approach the veil.
At the death of the Christ, the veil is torn apart, in half, from top to bottom. This represents not an abandonment by God, but a new kind of unification between God and God’s “set-apart” people. No longer are the people bound by geography or even by physicality. The people are now bound together in something stronger: the blood of the perfect sacrifice. He makes a way for the set apart people of God to approach their God, to see their God without the veil. He shows them the very character and nature of the God they have long worshipped, and he sets them apart in ways they could have never anticipated.
And he invites us to participate in the set-apartness. God, in Christ, has set you and me apart in the blood of Christ. Our response is to be set apart and live according to God’s desire.