Putting Leviticus into Practice – This Saturday!

It may be easy to read parts of the New Testament and immediately understand how that could inform your life. Does the same happen as you’re reading Leviticus? It’s harder isn’t it? Well, read this passage from Leviticus 19:

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.

Isn’t that a great example of some clear application from Leviticus? No?

Maybe the fact that you don’t have fields and harvests is causing you difficulty. But I’m here to help. There is a process called gleaning in which fields which have already been harvested are left for others to come and gather what has been left behind. There is an organization called the Society of St. Andrew that helps with this, and they have an urgent need this Saturday. They have 80,000 lbs of sweet potatoes that need to be bagged and distributed and it is going on nearby in Hillsborough.

My wife and I are going to try to make it–I’ll at least attend. If you can come along, let me know. Or you can sign up individually on their webpage. They need folks to bag the produce and if you have a truck and would like to help distribute, they need that as well. The sweet potatoes are going to locations in Hillsborough and Durham County.

I know this is short notice, but look at your calendar. If your Saturday morning is free, or at least partly free, give this some thought. It is a great way to serve the poor and the sojourner and glorify God in the process. They need the help and the more who come out the quicker it will go.

Here are the details, which again can be found at their website, or call (919) 683-3011 for more information.

WHAT: Society of St. Andrew has received a very large donation from one our NC sweet potato growers. To celebrate our 20th year of feeding the hungry in North Carolina, we are having a Sweet Potato DOUBLE Drop!

We will have 36 bins of sweet potatoes (80,000 pounds), so this will be as simple as standing beside a bin, filling bags with potatoes, and loading the bags in the truck beside the bin.

WHEN: Saturday, May 19, 8 am-1:30 pm

WHERE: New Sharon United Methodist Church
1601 New Sharon Church Road
Hillsborough, NC 27278

Register here: http://www.endhunger.org/NC-DoubleDrop.htm

Week 8

I don’t know about you, but week eight has come quick. But my week seven was quite eventful, so you may feel differently.

We finish Leviticus (ch. 15-27) and are on our second to last section of Luke (ch. 17-20). I’m interested to hear how Luke has been going as we changed our pace a bit from John, since we now are just reading four chapters per week. I like to hear feedback, and I could even tweak the future quarters a bit if that seems like a good plan.

Don’t forget our Psalms (ch. 20-25) that we’ve had the last few weeks. Our focus passage is actually from there this time, with the familiar 23rd Psalm. Hope you can return to a passage you’ve read many times before and meditate on it in a fresh way. The Word of God is living and the Spirit continues to speak to us through it, so approach with great expectations.

As we continue, remember I love to hear your questions. A post from last week was prompted by a very good question in a reading group, and I’m sure there are many more questions out there. And just as it was this time, I’m sure others are thinking the same thing as you and would benefit from someone speaking up and asking the question.

Happy Readings.

Story So Far, Week 5

In Exodus we see the way God has instructed the Israelites in how to be a people of his own, including how they should order their lives with law and how they should order worship. In Luke, Jesus called his disciples, continued teaching, and showed the people his great power, even power over death.

In Luke 7, a pharisee questions Jesus’ interactions with a sinful woman. Jesus responds with a story of forgiven debt, making the point that the one who has been forgiven much, loves much, and the one who has been forgiven little, loves little.

What we must remember is that we have all been forgiven much. We are all sinful and our debt is far more than we could ever repay. Left to our own ability and effort, we would be lost. But God has forgiven this debt–in fact he paid this debt for us himself in the work of Jesus Christ. If we daily remind ourselves of this, of how abundant God’s grace is, it will spur us on to love much. As forgiven sinners we cannot treat with disdain other sinners in this world. We all suffered under the weight of great debts. Therefore we should share love with others as recipients of grace.

Having this constant remember of grace is part of why I think God describes himself to his people in the beginning of the Ten Commandments with the words, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Whenever God describes himself in this way, he is reminding his people that they have been redeemed from slavery, they have been given abundant grace, and they have much to be thankful for.

When we recognize how much God loves us and how abundant is his grace, the more we will be propelled to love and forgive those who God places in our paths.

Exodus Visualized

I posted a link a while back for an artist’s minimal representation of Genesis, and I thought I’d do the same for Exodus. Here’s the image, but again, check out the others that he continues to work on for other books. Can you pick up on the symbols he is using?

And so it begins… tomorrow

Tomorrow is March 25th, and what does that mean? It means it is the first day of the “Year in the Bible” year. Some folks may say resolutions are to be made January 1. But let’s ignore those people, people like Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest. January 1 is in the midst of holidays and travel, and how often to we have the time to make such serious commitments and decisions then?

The beginning of Spring seems like a perfect time to make a resolution.

So for your consideration, make this year, from March 25th, 2012 to March 24th, 2013, a year to be in God’s Word. To abide in it, to listen to God, to seek out Jesus Christ. Be resolved to do something important–read the Bible, the whole Bible.

Through Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, join with us as we break down the Scripture into quarters. Find someone to read with, get involved with a small group or a reading group, and let God reveal himself to you in his Word.

(And just so you know, if you don’t jump in right away, anytime is a good time to pick up your Bible and join in right where we are in the process!)

Coming March 2012

After we finish the small group study, 40 Days in the Word, our church isn’t going to stop there. Forty days just isn’t enough.

Having learned new ways to study and understand scripture, we’re going to dive in and spend a year reading through the entire Bible. Here you’ll find reading guides and reminders, devotionals, and a place to ask questions and comment on the readings as we enter into this together.

Keep an eye out for more information.