May 22, Wednesday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Consecration to Communion”

Exodus 29:26-46

Aaron’s sacred garments will belong to his descendants so that they can be anointed and ordained in them. 30 The son who succeeds him as priest and comes to the tent of meeting to minister in the Holy Place is to wear them seven days. 31 “Take the ram for the ordination and cook the meat in a sacred place. 32 At the entrance to the tent of meeting, Aaron and his sons are to eat the meat of the ram and the bread that is in the basket. 33 They are to eat these offerings by which atonement was made for their ordination and consecration. But no one else may eat them, because they are sacred. 34 And if any of the meat of the ordination ram or any bread is left over till morning, burn it up. It must not be eaten, because it is sacred. 35 “Do for Aaron and his sons everything I have commanded you, taking seven days to ordain them. 36 Sacrifice a bull each day as a sin offering to make atonement. Purify the altar by making atonement for it, and anoint it to consecrate it. 37 For seven days make atonement for the altar and consecrate it. Then the altar will be most holy, and whatever touches it will be holy. 38 “This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. 39 Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight. 40 With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil from pressed olives, and a quarter of a hin of wine as a drink offering. 41 Sacrifice the other lamb at twilight with the same grain offering and its drink offering as in the morning—a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord. 42 “For the generations to come this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance to the tent of meeting, before the Lord. There I will meet you and speak to you; 43 there also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by my glory. 44 “So I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. 45 Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. 46 They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.

Something I distinctly remember about my college experience was the continuous love and care that I felt by people who would open up their home to cook for others and myself.  As we would break bread, there would be a natural fellowship, comfort, and care that everybody in the room would feel. It’s not a coincidence that much of the fellowship we see in Scripture is precisely through the sharing of a meal.  I realize now that my college leaders took the time to cook and eat with people to bring a sense of comfort and love the way Jesus brought people of different backgrounds together. And it was this experience that drew me closer to the love of Christ as I was brought into deep community and fellowship with other believers.

In today’s passage, after Aaron and his family go through the long consecration and anointing process, they are instructed to eat the food that was given as an offering.  It is important to note that the eating came after the washing, clothing, and atonement process.  The reason is because the eating was to signify the continuing relationship of the priest with God.  However, God does not stop there in His pursuit for relationship. At the end of Exodus 29, God tells Aaron and his sons to offer a continual burnt offering throughout the generations.  He promises that through this offering God would once again meet with His chosen people and speak to them in order that “they shall know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them” (Ex. 29:45-46).  God’s purpose in all the elaborate sacrifices we read throughout this chapter was for this very reason – that God would once again commune with His chosen people that they would know He is their God.

I received my call to ministry my junior year in college after experiencing incredible healing and love through the community that God had brought in my life.  I credit the many people who cooked for me, broke bread with me, and offered their time, resources, and energy to reveal the love of Christ that I may ultimately commune with God myself.  Let’s reflect today on some of the ways that we can extend hospitality to others that others may be pointed to Christ. God’s desire is that all may know He is their God, and we have the amazing privilege to partner with Him in bringing others to the presence of God.  May our lives be one that brings people to encounter this amazing God who desires to commune with everyone.

Prayer: God I thank You for your love that continuously pursues a relationship with me.  And thank You for the people that You brought in my life to demonstrate this love that I may draw closer to You.  Help me to be agent of this love to others that they may encounter you as well. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Samuel 11


Lunch Break Study:

Read Luke 14:15-24: When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” 16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 
17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ 23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

Questions to Consider

  1. Many were invited to the great banquet, but many made excuses. What do these excuses signify? (v.18-20)
  2. What was the master’s response to the excuses? (v.21)
  3. Are there any excuses you are making in your life right now that is preventing you from joining the great banquet?

Notes

  1. These excuses reveal they were more interested in their personal/worldly endeavors than feasting in the kingdom of God (v.15).
  2. The master became angry and ordered the servant to go into the streets and alleys to bring the poor, crippled, bind, and lame.
  3. Personal.

Evening Reflection

This morning we discussed the ultimate purpose for the sacrifices that God called Aaron and his sons to perform – to restore people back to a relationship with God.  This afternoon we read about God’s invitation for people to join in on his great banquet – the kingdom of God – however, many made excuses. Reflect on the day. Did your life extend hospitality to others that they would commune with God?  Or did you make excuses because of busyness or personal desires? Take some time to reflect on ways you can join in on God’s work and lead others to communion with God.

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