Yom Kippur

October 6, 2011

It feels like fall today, you guys. There’s a breeze, and leaves are swirling around, and most importantly, new episodes of my favorite shows are back on TV! I cried at Parenthood this week. Yeah, I cry at fictional characters interacting in fictional situations. Jealous?

Here is how God celebrates fall.

So, we’ve got another biblical holiday this week! Although, that exclamation point is probably a bit much because it’s the one somber holiday that God commanded. Yom Kippur (or the Day of Atonement) starts this Friday at sundown. It is the holiest day of the whole year for the people of God. In Leviticus 23, God commanded the Israelites to abstain from work and to deny themselves (fast) for a whole day. People examine themselves and their sins, asking God for his forgiveness.

Yom Kippur is the day, each year, when the people of Israel must atone for their sins. There are very detailed instructions in Leviticus 16 — the high priest must sacrifice to atone for himself, and sacrifice to atone the altar and the Most Holy Place. God dwelt there, among sinful people, and it needed to be made holy. Then the priest would bring two goats — one to sacrifice as a sin offering for the people, and one to be a scapegoat. The priest would symbolically place all of the sins of the people for the past year on the scapegoat. A man would then lead the goat, heavy with the burden of Israel’s sin, into the desert and let it go — the scapegoat would carry away, upon its head, the wickedness of their hearts.

It’s a fascinating story. Please, please take a second to read Leviticus 16. I hadn’t read it in awhile, and it’s amazing to look at the process required to atone for our sins.

First Fruits of Zion wrote a newsletter about Yom Kippur, reminding us that Hebrews 9 parallels this process by showing us that Jesus, the Messiah, has become our high priest. He is the one who made  atonement for us, not through sacrificing a bull or a goat or a ram, but through sacrificing his body — broken, burdened, crushed under the weight of, not only the sins of Israel, but the sins of all humanity throughout all time.

The Bible is cool, you guys. There are so many parallels, so many stories that get retold and fulfilled and given new meaning. It’s like a much, much cooler Lost. Or maybe Lost is like a much less cooler Bible. Or maybe … OK, the analogy isn’t working. Let’s move on.

You are not supposed to work during Yom Kippur, and you are supposed to fast. I plan to do a fast, and I’ll talk about my reasoning more tomorrow, but I wanted to let you know so that if you want to consider doing it,  you could start praying about it today.

OK, I’ve gots to go, folks. Have a good day, friends, in grateful remembrance of Jesus who atoned for us.


The Monday Minutes

January 26, 2009


Did everyone have a great weekend? What did you do? Why didn’t you come visit me? I went skiing, and took a nap and ate some dinners. That’s about it.

Colorado is having some identity issues lately. Last week it was all “I’m a summer state and I love being nice and warm and friendly.” Now this week, it’s “I hate everyone and I’m gonna be cold and miserable and snowy. Deal with it!” Silly state. It may need to start taking some mood stabilizers.

So last week I went to chapel at Focus on the Family and Selah was the musical guest. First of all, their voices are amazing. Loved it. Secondly, one of the band member’s wives shared about her experience of losing her little girl a couple of hours after she was born. They knew it was going to happen because she wasn’t forming correctly in the womb, but it was still so sad. They showed a video of a song they wrote for her and pictures they took in the hospital. You really should watch it, but be forewarned: You will need an entire box of Kleenex.

Once you’re done crying, you should watch a bit of Gladys. She’ll cheer you right up.

So I hear that they’re pushing back the deadline for the digital converter thingy for your TV. This is great news for me, since I am entirely too lazy to go to Wal Mart and get one. And then hook it up. Also, my coupon expired. So, for all of you who are just like me — you have four more months to continue the laziness!

One more thing. I’m reading Leviticus, and I’m not gonna lie — it’s kind of tough. All of the intricacies of the law are a little difficult to keep up with. I have been reminded, though, that God seems to really care about the details. There are a lot of details given, and most of it is related to stuff and the tabernacle and goats and cleanliness. How much more must He care about the tiny little intricacies of our lives? That’s a comfort.

Anyway, have a happy day and try to stay warm!