Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 28 November 2017

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.  Hebrews 13, verses 15-16.

If you can’t do anything else, you can always do these things:   say praise and do good.   In doing good and in praising, we share God with others.   In praise and good works, we act out the life of Jesus on behalf of people who may not know Him but need Him never the less.   Giving praise to God leads to giving thanks to Him, and it leads to wanting to live out ways that show your thanks.  If you want to sum up the Christian walk through life, these two verses are basically it.   Praise God and live out your faith.   Do it because it pleases God.

Have you considered how you offer your praise?   How do your lips openly profess His name?

Do you realize that it’s not just your spoken word that professes His name, that gives Him praise, that proclaims your faith in Him?  It’s the words from your mouth, your blog, your attire, your attitude towards strangers, your actions, your demeanor.   If you are having trouble measuring up to a Godly standard, join the club.   I have trouble doing that, and I’ve been a follower of Jesus for nearly all my life yet ‘walking the walk’ is sometimes tough.  These days, I have zero problem saying I believe in Jesus, but I still struggle with how to put that faith into common conversation without seeming preachy or condescending.   Those qualities are the opposite of the ones God wants me to live out, especially when talking about Him.   And if the conversation is with friends, especially ones who have known me in the past, then I find the task even more difficult.   I’m a hypocrite.  Indeed, I wonder how much dishonor I’ve brought on my Lord instead of praise.

In church this weekend, Pastor Mark talked about how only God can change hearts.   Hollywood can’t do it.  Politicians can’t do it.   Your wife and kids can’t even do it.   If your heart is hard, cold, hurting, or indifferent, only God can work in it to change it.   Other people can chip away at the exterior, but only by letting God into your heart can it be truly changed.  His Spirit acts like peroxide on a wound.  When His Spirit begins that work in you, you simply can’t hold it in.   You feel moved to express it, to give praise, to give thanks, to share it.   Only when God works in you can you see the error of dishonor and want to change how you live to avoid continuing on a dishonorable path.

When that happens, praise God from whom all blessings flow.   You’ll feel the push to do just that.

Yet it’s true that there will still be setbacks.   There may still be times of back-sliding, of slipping up.   When those happen, you might just feel the unfamiliar (and unwelcome) feeling of guilt, of shame.   In those times, it helps to remember that even those emotions are gifts from Him to serve as barometers, white lines to keep us in the safe lane.  When that happens, even guilt and shame become feelings of praise, of being grateful for a God who would love us even our lowest moments and want to meet  us where we are.

So if you can’t do anything else, if all abilities leave you or if you’re at the end of your rope and you simply don’t know what to say, try giving thanks and praise.  When you do, you make God smile.

For further reading:  1 Peter 2:5, Isaiah 57:19, Hosea 14:2, Romans 12:13, Philippians 4:18

Lord, I praise You and thank You for all the ways you bless me today.

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Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 27 November 2017

For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.  Hebrews 13, verse 14.

Do you struggle with the here and now as I do?   I remember from years ago a sermon presented by our pastor in west Colorado Springs.   It was about heaven being our real home, how we are really just transient citizens on this fallen earth.   You know the details:   this world will end and Christ will return to judge the living and the dead, then usher in a new heaven and a new earth.   “No matter what is happening here, don’t lose heart.  Heaven is our real home” said this pastor.  We shouldn’t get too wrapped around the axle about holding on to this place because we’re actually citizens of another, better place.

But what about now?

Here and now is all I know.   Like so many people, I have déjà vu moments that seem like fleeting glimpses of something else.   Sometimes I wonder if they aren’t “soul memories” of where I was before I was born.   I know:   crazy stuff.   Or is it?   A learned, educated, rational Lutheran pastor insisted (as millions of others do) that I, as a believer in Jesus, am actually a citizen of a multi-dimensional existence that is a reality outside of what we know as time and space.   Trusting that I will spend eternity there with a Savior who I’ve never met in person is a bedrock of my faith.   It keeps me going sometimes because, as they say in the church I now attend “eternity matters most.”   To an unchurched mind, THAT is crazy stuff.   Here and now is the known.  So what about now?

You see, I get it.   The pastor was correct.  I get that Jesus has a place ready for me in heaven.   Whatever heaven is, wherever heaven is, I’ll be going there when my time here on the Third Rock is done.   I really, truly do trust that this earthly home – the only home I know – isn’t a permanent place, that my permanent residence is a place I haven’t yet seen, or that I remember so deeply from so long ago that I can’t recall the memories and can’t tell you what it looks, smells, and feels like to be there.  I get it.

And that’s good.   It really is.  But while it’s a focus, that’s the forest.   Today is built with trees.  Here and now is where I’m a front line soldier in the army of the Living God.  I know I have a place in His ranks someday in heaven, but for know I also know that I’m on the lines here on terra firma.   That most of the world doesn’t believe in this Jesus.   That much of the world believes in a host of terrestrial ghosts, or the manufactured demonics of Islam, or, worse, in nothing at all.  Here I’m armed with Christ’s command to love as He loves, to tell others about Him, and to use what time, talents & treasures He has given me to do my best in my various callings.  Here I’m fighting on His front line every day, defying the prince of this world, sometimes minute by minute, so that people won’t look at me and be led astray from Jesus.   I’m glad that heaven is my home, and I’m glad that I’m not part of this un-permanent settlement in the land east of Eden.

But east of Eden is all I really know and it’s more than a Steinbeck novel   Jesus calls me to remember that I’m a part of His eternity now, but that, for now, my role before eternity is here.   To do His bidding here; to do His work at hand.  And I struggle with that, struggle to keep my eyes on the ball, to follow His commands, to lay down my hypocritical judgments, to turn aside from my petty thinking and small ways.   East of Eden is all I know, yet I also know Jesus walks with me here.

For further reading:  Hebrews 12:27, Philippians 3:20, Hebrews 11:10.

Lord Jesus, I live in the land of Canaan, and I struggle here.   I pray, encourage me, walk with me, and strengthen me to fight Your good fight today.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 22 November 2017

 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.  Hebrews 13, verse 13.

Jesus earned “street cred” by dying outside the city walls.   That wasn’t the intention of the Jews who murdered Him.   They wanted to discredit Him, to consign Him to a place with the worst of society.   The Sanhedrin that sentenced Jesus to death wanted to erase the memory of Him so that He would soon be forgotten.  To do that, they reasoned that having Him executed as a common criminal would cause people to abandon following Him.   By branding Jesus as a criminal worthy of death, they would so disgrace His name that people would be repelled by even the mention of it.  Within a few years nobody would remember this evangelist from Nazareth.

With anyone else, it might have worked.   After all, there is only a small handful of names we actually know out of the billions of people who lived before, say, one thousand years ago (maybe even one hundred years ago).    The people we know of (like Jesus) earned fame or honor.   Who even knows the names of condemned prisoners from Phoenicia, Babylon, Athens or Rome?   Do we know the names of the men crucified with Spartacus?  Without using Google, who are the people on death row now in Idaho?   Can you name anyone shot for cowardice during the Mexican War?   We don’t know the names of these men because they’re lost to history.

We don’t know their names because we don’t want to.   They died in disgrace.   They died in ignominy and dishonor.   You, me, and our friends don’t want to be associated with their dishonor and disgrace.  It’s like adulterers in church:  nobody wants to be associated with them because we feel like, if we are, we’ll be tainted by their sins.   It’s a stupid, highly irrational feeling even if it is a constructive psychological defense mechanism.

It’s also ungodly.   What would Jesus do?  Not that.  Jesus ran to the cross.   He wrapped Himself in the dishonor and ignominy.  Jesus knew that His sacrifice would bring glory, honor, and love to the Father.  THAT is our better example.

Luke quoted Christ in saying that each of us who wants to really follow Him must deny himself and take up his cross daily.  We must willingly, even gleefully, run outside the camp and pick up the weapon of our own death.  We must embrace the disgrace.  And the writer of Hebrews reminds us that human disgrace for faith in Jesus is worth more than all the treasures in the world.  Joy in being persecuted for believing in Jesus is the street cred of faith.

A few years ago I read the Left Behind books.   I’m not a millenialist, so I didn’t accept the rapture/7 years tribulation idea; to me, getting mixed up in the how & when details of the end of time misses the miracle of being called home to heaven.  But one scene from one of the books (I don’t remember which one) stuck with me.  In it, one of the main characters is talking with a condemned man who is on his way to the guillotine.  The man is about to die for not taking the mark of the Antichrist and instead of being hesitant about it, he is joyful.   Imagine that:   the man is about to be murdered for what he believed and he is enthusiastic about it.   He’s ebullient, joyously embracing the disgrace of dying for the one you love.   And I don’t even remember the character’s name.

But that’s just a book.   The truth of it is that that this happens here and now.   It’s been happening for real to Coptic Christians for years.   It happens wherever ISIS rules.   It still happens in Communist China, and Cuba, and Islamonazi Iran.  A watered-down version of the persecution even happens in American universities and American corporations.  I am challenged regularly online for words like these, and I have lost friends over my faith.   The best response when that happens?   Joyfully thank God and press forward.  The world thinks it’s a disgrace to believe like this.  Embrace the disgrace and advance against an enemy that has already lost even when it costs you everything.

For further reading:  Luke 9:23, Hebrews 11:26.

Lord, let me embrace the ‘disgrace’ of serving You, of loving You, of faith in You.   Teach me and uphold me to better serve you in the world.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 21 November 2017

And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.  Hebrews 13, verse 12.

Yesterday I mentioned that Jesus was killed, buried, and rose outside the city walls of Jerusalem.  That happened to fulfill Scriptural prophecy.   Being criminally punished outside the city was a common practice in ancient days for a number of reasons.   It dishonored the accused and it accorded them unique, public status to be despised.  It sent a message to the public:   don’t mess with the authorities.   Burying bodies outside the city limits also was a health issue; it still is.   Indeed, removing decomposing corpses from the places where we live is still our practice today; it’s why cemeteries are usually found at or outside the original boundaries of most towns.   But most of all, it happened because God used the lowest among us to perform the highest function.

It gave God “street cred.”  We give great honor, glory, and social status to the pretty things.   That’s the foundation of street credibility.  It’s all about being perceived as “legit,” about being respected, about being able to walk the walk and talk the talk.  On the streets, honor and status are (supposedly) earned, and glory is taken.   In the way Jesus died, He earned real street cred.

So did His house.  The Jewish Temple was one of the great marvels of antiquity.   The Second Temple, renovated by Herod, rivaled any building in Rome, Thebes, Athens, or Babylon for its beauty, architectural wonder, and impact.  The original Temple of Solomon had been the actual “house of God:”   the place where His presence physically resided.   Its location was on the very spot where Abraham had bound Isaac, where Jacob had his famous dream, and where David purchased the threshing floor.  Tradition held that it was even the spot where God first touched earth after creation.   Solomon’s First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians but was rebuilt as the Second Temple by Zerubabbel.   This Second Temple, however, lacked God’s presence as well as many of the original artifacts (like the Ark of the Covenant) that traced their origin back to Moses.  Those have been lost to the ages.  Still, the Second Temple stood for nearly 600 years, and had been greatly renovated and expanded by Herod the Great just before the time of Jesus.  You would have been able to see it for miles around as it was the tallest building in the city and stood at the top of Mount Moriah (later called Mount Zion).  It’s massive size, glistening gold, and snow white stone would have made it shine brilliantly in both sun and night.

By the time Jesus arrived, the Temple had become the focal point of the Middle East.  It was the focus of Jewish life, the singular place to which Jews made annual pilgrimage.  Jesus Himself would spend much time in the Temple as the building represented God’s promise to His people and His continuing magnificence.    As mentioned, it was the most prominent building in the city, more visible and ostentatious than any of the city’s palaces or government buildings.  Great glory and honor was accorded to being in the Temple and especially to those who worked there and maintained the religion there.

For Jesus to have worshipped and taught in the Temple gave credence to His status as Messiah.   In our time, it would have meant He earned that ‘street cred.’  All through His life, Christ honored the practices and traditions of God’s people, including honoring the Temple.  Repeatedly during His ministry Christ taught at the Temple and challenged the political and ecclesiastical authority of the men who ran it.  Immediately after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus went to the Temple and cleared out the merchants who had set up shop.  He did this to cleanse out God’s home.

And when the conspirators of the Jewish Sanhedrin determined to murder Him, they wanted to do so in a way that would both reinforce their status and power AND consign him to the lowest place in society.   That meant Jesus would die outside the city.   He would be tried inside Jerusalem, but when it came to His actually killing, that was to take place away from the honored Temple Mount.  Christ was crucified on Golgotha, which ancient tradition (even then) held was the burial spot of Adam, the original man; how ironic is that?  How ironic it was, too, that, at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil on the Holy of Holies was miraculously torn asunder.

What’s the point in all this history?   It’s a sign for us.  It’s interesting that God used human history to give His story honor and credibility but getting wrapped around the archaeology of it misses the central point.   It’s not where God performed His salvation of us but WHAT He did that matters.  The focal point of all human history is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.   It’s the real street cred.  That happened in the places we’ve discussed and was made credible to humanity by the fact that it happened where it did.  Yet it is the resurrection itself – God’s saving atonement of our sins – that matters and not the place where God did it. We study the history of the location to help us better understand the context of the time and place for the life of Jesus.   Yet it is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that is the ultimate street cred on which we all can and should depend.

For further reading:  John 19:17, Ephesians 5:26, Romans 3:25.

Lord, thank You for using these places and events in history to point to Your Son.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 20 November 2017

The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp.  Hebrews 13, verse 11.

Word came out today that Charles Manson died over the weekend.  Charlie masterminded the 1969 grisly Tate-LaBianca killing spree, convincing his young, drug-addicted followers to savagely murder for him.  Manson had lived a tortured life of abuse and crime, and the late 1960s counter-culture was a petri dish in which he enthusiastically grew the bacillus of true hatred.  Charlie didn’t kill anyone himself:   he directed others to do it for him.  Originally sentenced to death, Manson’s sentence was commuted to life in prison after California changed its death penalty laws.  In the (over) 45 years since, Manson gave no sign that he repented of his heinous crimes, and there’s no reason to believe he did so at his end.   Hell may very well be one soul richer this morning.

Do you think Jesus is grieved at that?   I do.  I’ve talked about how Jesus loved Osama Bin Laden, Adolf Hitler, and the most notorious people in history.  He created each of us as “very good” and loves us unconditionally.  Even mass murderers, criminals, and people who do the worst things we can imagine.   So if Charlie checked into a hellish eternity yesterday, it happened in spite of Jesus love and that must sadden our Savior.   It’s as if His sacrifice was burned up for nothing.

The verses associated with this one talk about sin offerings.   During the time after the Ten Commandments, God revealed to Moses how He wanted His people to recognize their need for atonement.  The Israelites could no more atone for their own sins than we can, so God provided them with a system of animal sacrifices that would remind them of their spiritual dependency on Him.  Once a year, a Levite high priest would slay an animal, sprinkle it’s blood in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle, and ‘make atonement’ for all the peoples’ sins.   Afterwards, what was left of the animal would be taken outside the camp and burned to ashes, then the ashes would be sprinkled in a place that had been made ceremonially ‘clean.’   All this was done to remind Israel that it was sinful and that it should depend completely on God for its salvation as much as it did for it’s three squares, air, shelter, and safety.

You know where this is going:  Jesus was our sin offering.   Jesus was the ultimate offering to God Almighty to atone for our myriad sins and appease His holy, righteous anger.  His blood sprinkles on all of us.   He was executed outside the city, buried outside the city, even rose outside the city.  Jesus Christ did for mankind the most important thing that mankind couldn’t do for itself.

When we turn our backs on this truth, we are keeping Jesus outside our camp.  “I’d never do that.   I’d never act like the Manson Family” you or I would say.  But have we considered how we do it every day?   Every time we embrace even petty evil, we side with what defined Charlie Manson.   I’ve never killed anyone but I’ve harbored deep grudges and hatred.   I’ve followed idols.   I’ve hurt and destroyed things Jesus commanded me not too.   I’ve done evil just as you have, and when I have I have sided with the evil that drove Manson.   What do we make of Charlie?

In-between drugs, sex, violence, and helter skelter, Manson once declared himself to be Jesus.   His followers believed it and did his bidding.  I was only a small child when all this happened, and I grew up learning about the things the “Manson Family” did in its savage killing spree.   It was confusing and hard to understand, how someone could orchestrate such unspeakable evil and convince others to follow.  But now that I’m an adult, I look back and realize it really isn’t very hard to understand.   Evil is as old as Eden and as common as the air we breathe.   Charlie kept Jesus outside the camp of his life for all his life.   He rejected God’s invitation to be at peace, and in doing so he led astray other equally confused people.   In rejecting Jesus, there could be no sin offering for Charlie but himself, and all that’s left now are worthless ashes.  I believe that must grieve Jesus.   I picture Him today, sitting alone and contemplating the loss.   We walk up to Him and say “is everything ok Lord?”  “Yes,” He might reply, “but I’m a little sad right now because one of my dear people has gone.”   He might even have real tears in his eyes for Charles Manson and everybody else who goes astray forever.

Mass killing has become common place in our society; that’s a legacy of the Manson Family.  None of his followers has ever been released from prison (though one is up for parole at this time).   One of his acolytes even tried to a president.  Yet the evil Charles Manson came to represent is his legacy.  Manson was consumed by it.   That evil tries to permeate everything we do, and it works on us daily to separate us from God because evil is lonely and desires bad company.  It rages at all that is good in the world.   Will you let it overtake you?  For those of us left behind, this message is clear.   Don’t be Charlie.

For further reading:  Leviticus 16:15, Exodus 29:14, Leviticus 4:12, Leviticus 4:21.

Lord, bless You for Your deep mercy, for Your sacrifice, for Your unending love.   Help me to turn away evil in my life today by relying fully on You.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 16 November 2017

We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.  Hebrews 13, verse 10.

My Concordia reference explains this verse by saying this verse refers to the cross (the true altar), “which marked the end of the whole Aaronic priesthood and its replacement by the order of Melchizedek.  The priests could not eat of the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement but we can partake of our sacrifice, so to speak – through spiritual reception of Christ through faith.   We have a higher privilege than the priests under the old covenant had.”

In the days of the ancient priesthood, the high priest was the only representative between the people and God.   He and only he was allowed certain privileges in how worship was conducted.   Priests were provided with free food out of the stock brought to the Lord and thus were very well fed.   Yet on the Day of Atonement, the day when the high priest went before the Mercy Seat of God to ask for atonement of the peoples’ sins, the priest was not allowed to consume any part of the sacrificed lamb.   He sprinkled its blood on the altar, and the remainder of the sacrifice was taken outside the Israelite camp and burned until nothing was left.

When Christ volunteered to die for your sins, He removed the need for the Old Testament system of sacrifices.  Ritual animal sacrifice as a substitution for an atonement was replaced by the real sacrifice of the pure blood of God Himself, who made atonement needing no ritual, animal, or substitution.  What’s more, we who believe in Him partake of this sacrifice – and thus of Him – in many ways simply by believing.   Our faith in Jesus is the food that feeds the soul, and feeding on the love of Jesus removes need for anything else.

Pretty tough stuff to comprehend, right?   Then let’s try it another way.  Translation:   you don’t need a go-between to get to God.   You get to consume time and the essence of your Savior in person, one on one.   Your faith in Him removes all obstacles between you and Him.

You and I, as followers of Jesus, don’t need a high priest to sprinkle blood on the Ark of the Covenant.  We don’t need a priest to slaughter an animal in our place.   We don’t need to follow the intricate, ancient rituals of old to make ourselves righteous before God again.   And we don’t need to wait until just one day in a year for someone else to take our case before God.   Even as a believer, some religions still insist a priest is necessary to intermediate between you and your God.  Yet the Bible says this simply isn’t true.

Right here, right now, wherever you are, you GET TO commune with Jesus one on one.   He came to you; you don’t have to go to Him.   He meets you from within, and your saying “I believe” puts your faith in Him.   In doing so, you accept that He did everything possible and necessary to make you right before God again.   You have communion with Him and share in His death and resurrection right now, today, in this very moment, and all the time.   When you periodically observe Holy Communion, you get to remember Him further, in different ways, partaking in elements that point us directly to Him as the true Spiritual food.   Right here, right now you get to go to the altar of the cross and lay down your sins, lay down your successes, lay down your pride, lay down everything you have and are and love, and submit it all to Jesus.   In return, He guides you as friend, Savior, and fellow, and says “I’ve made it right for you.”   You don’t need me or anyone else to tell him on your behalf or to sacrifice for you.   He did it all and you and I get to each meet Him where we are.  Right here, right now.

For further reading:  Hebrews 8:5, 1 Corinthians 9:13, 1 Corinthians 10:18.

Lord, I praise You for doing everything needed in faith.   For loving me enough to die and rise for me.   I praise You for being the food my soul needs to thrive and the true living water to quench my eternal thirst.

 

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 15 November 2017

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so.  Hebrews 13, verse 9.

For the last few weeks I’ve had “La La Land” playing in my head.   I’ve heard the catchy opening number – “Another Day of Sun” – playing over and over in my head.   If you haven’t seen the movie and you like musicals, watch it.  And you have to watch right from the opening credits because that opening number sets the stage for the entire movie.  “Climb these hills I’m reaching for the heights and chasing all the lights that shine.   When they let you down.   Get up off the ground.   Then morning comes around and it’s another day of sun.”

That kind of sums up one of the great things about Christian faith.  Jesus is always here, always the same, always a constant.   Every day is a gift, another day of Son in the sun.  We chase all kinds of things here on the Third Rock and they let us down.  Yet to survive, to persevere, we have to get up and try again.  Without knowing Jesus, life is just a senseless drudgery.   With Him, it’s another day of sun.

And in the process of getting through life we get distracted by lots of lights that shine.   They glitter, they’re cool, they’re trendy, they’re the thing; gotta chase em!   Sometimes those lights that shine are bright fires that burn in hostile camps.   Sometimes the things that are cool aren’t so cool when we become part of them.  Sometimes when things let us down we can get crushed.   Not to put an insensitive point on things but “that’s life.”

Here, then, is some more life.  Sometimes in worship we get distracted by thinking we MUST say the Lord’s Prayer every time we are in church.   Sometimes we forget to regard our brothers and sisters as fellow believers even when they royally mess up.  Sometimes we split our fellowship based on things like ‘just when (or if) do the wine and bread of communion actually become the body and blood of Christ?’   Sometimes our friends insist that we are becoming weak in our faith if we don’t do all the things they insist we must do.

When they let you down, get up off the ground and realize these are just shiny things you’re chasing.  Get back in the Son because it’s another day of sun.   Jesus hasn’t changed.   He’s the same today as He was yesterday and as He will be tomorrow.  No, what’s changed is our position in relation to him.   We’ve moved ourselves away from Him.   We chose something that wasn’t Him and we shifted.   And that’s crazy because He freed us from the need to follow human codes.   He freed us from the constraints of having to prove ourselves to God.

Centuries ago, the early followers of Jesus were genuinely conflicted about what foods they could and couldn’t eat.  Most of them had been raised as Jews, and Jews had all kinds of ceremonial laws about what foods were unclean (and thus forbidden) and those that were allowed.   Many of the foods common to pagan communities in the Roman Mediterranean area were considered unclean, and the early believers struggled with ‘how Jewish’ they should be in observing these ceremonial traditions.   Their Jewish friends, who had a vested interest in seeing the nascent Christianity fail, insisted that these new followers follow all Jewish codes.   First Century Judea had become spiritual La La Land, complete with the tyrannical government controlling the people and the complicit spiritual leadership doing whatever it needed to do to stay in power.

Jesus changed all that.  He made it so that we are free from following anything but Him.   As the Apostle Peter learned, we are free to rise and eat and not worry about whether it’s ceremonially unclean.   All that God has created is good.   And when you realize that, you realize that those old codes would only let you down.   That’s when it’s time to get up off the ground and follow Jesus.   When you do that, you realize that it’s morning and it’s another day of sun in the Son.   And you get to leave La La Land.

For further reading:  Ephesians 4:14, Colossians 2:7, Colossians 2:16, Hebrews 9:10, Acts 10:9-48.

Lord, thank You for making all things possible, for removing barriers we crazy humans put up in your creation.