by Rev Lai Kai Ming
Readings: Lev 14; Pro 10:26
READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
“This is the law for any leprous sore and scale, for the leprosy of a garment and of a house, for a swelling and a scab and a bright spot, to teach when it is unclean and when it is clean. This is the law of leprosy.”
Tough readings! And are these relevant for us? Leprous skins, garments and houses … what’s that got to do with us? And why must there be religious rituals to deal with physical uncleanness! Well, the law of Moses seemed to connect every sickness with sin, and every healing with God. That’s why the sin offering was required for cleansing. And the burnt offering was required as an act of thanksgiving/ worship for God’s healing grace. While we don’t fully grasp the meaning of “the law of leprosy”, we cannot miss God’s demand for us to be clean.
Just before writing this post, I was served at lunch my first ever whole lobster – barbecued to perfection! Such delicacies are cheap here, especially in the seaside town where I’m staying. Then I remembered Leviticus – unclean!! Yes, this lobster would not have made it to the Jewish dining table. So what has changed from the time of Moses, till now? How could I eat this 1-foot lobster with my conscience clear? In fact, I could ask – how can one be a Chinese and not break all the food laws of Leviticus? I suppose the simple answer would be – I’m Chinese, not Jewish. More accurately, I’m a Christian, not an Israelite. While it is critical for me to be clean, the focus of holiness is now of the heart.
Lord, teach me to discern between clean and unclean, good and evil, holy and hollow.