Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
One of the most frequent complaints I have about our current culture is that it is disconnected from heritage and history. Even though postmodernism is a reaction, in part, to the modernists’ walk away from history, we seem determined to pick and choose from history, reinterpreting it according to our own desires. Finding the context of a piece of history is crucial to our identity and our humanity. That’s something that was reinforced to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 26:1-11. Here the people of Israel are told what they should do to bring offerings once they are in the land of promise.
Not only are the Israelites to bring an offering from the first of their increase, but they are to bring it very specifically to the place God assigns. That place isn’t any more holy than any other place, but it’s the place given to them. In the Bible, worship is always to happen according to patterns and principles revealed by God, not according to our imagination. Granted, there are many features of worship which are not spelled out for us. But the offerings were to be brought to the place where God said to bring them. It is the place and way God has given for that kind of worship. We trust that we will find God where he has said he is to be found.
What do the worshipers do when they arrive? They describe their history. They were wanderers, whose course and provisions came from God. They have been cared for and they are bringing an offering as a sign of what God has provided for them. It is only by God’s mercy that they can do so. The offering is presented with thanksgiving.
Are we aware of the historical importance of our wanderings? Of the Lord’s direction of our paths? Of the provision God has showered down on us by His grace? Are we willing to confess these truths before God and before our fellow worshipers? We don’t have the option of reinterpretation. We, just like the Israelites of old, have been brought to the place where we dwell by God’s grace. We find here that He is going to provide our needs. We take some of that provision and return thanks to the Lord, because we recognize all we have comes from him. This is our heritage. This is our history. This is the kind of Lord we have, one who cares for his people.
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