The Dressing Room

temple

Staring off in a daydream, the bleat of a lamb from the outside of the room breaks his trance. It’s almost as if this innocent creature knows what is coming. As always, even though he is completely experienced in what he was about to do, he can’t honestly say he is used to doing it. Each time a sacrifice occurs, he is at the center, and there is a great responsibility on his shoulders. After all, he is the High Priest and his job is to become unclean and kill for the cleansing of an entire nation. When he finds his focus once again, he finds himself staring into the slightly distorted reflection of a highly polished bronze mirror. It is time to get dressed, and he begins the clothing ritual.

His hands tremble as he puts on each requisite piece of clothing. With each article, he not only feels the physical weight, but he also acknowledges the spiritual, emotional, and mental gravity of what he prepares to do. The ephod goes on comfortably, but when the specialty pieces are assembled on his body, the realizations flood into his mind. There is a sense of pride that occurs due to his office but is dampened with a healthy level of fear. He runs through a catalog of memories of recent events and tries to recall any sins that he may of knowingly or unknowingly committed before going any further. After a deep breath, he continues.

It is great to be dressed as the High Priest in public. People respect you, and there is a certain celebrity status associated with the position. That however does not negate the gruesome task at hand. He looked at his reflection a final time before he tied a rope around his ankle. Tying this rope forces him to think about the importance of what he is about to accomplish. The braided rope is also a visible sign that he is imperfect and doesn’t deserve to be in God’s presence. It symbolized a possibility that he dares not think of. He thinks of the stories in which his own people treated the holiness of God with a casual apathy, and thus were struck down. He could easily die in a matter of hours. This would invalidate the absolution of an entire people group. He needed to be right with God. As the mediator of the people, he closes his eyes and breathes a desperate prayer. The only comfort he has with the thought of dying is the fact that someone can pull him out of the Holy of Holies using this rope if it does occur. He tames his beard with a little olive oil, nods his head at the mirror, and walks out of the room. He avoids eye contact with the lamb that is roped to a post outside of the room, and then their journey begins to the Temple.

God is waiting…but there is much more to do before they meet.

…to be continued.

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Stop the Invasion

Last evening was a pretty normal July 3rd evening. My wife and I put the baby to bed and went back to the living room to watch some TV. Due to the fact that today is the day that we celebrate our independence, this subject was the main issue on nearly every channel. People were having celebrations, political analysts were debating issues, and updates on the various firework bans scrolled across the screen. It was typical.

Like any other year one of the movie channels was showing the movie “Independence Day”. If you have not seen this movie, it is one that depicts an alien invasion, and when all seemed hopeless, the heros saved the day by defeating the aliens. The aliens were faster, stronger, and smarter than their human counterparts, but somehow hope was restored when the spaceships were successfully attacked. The reason it was difficult from the beginning was because the invaders had strong protective shields that made bullets and missiles bounce off like ping pong balls.

As I was watching this movie last night, I begin to realize that there are invaders in everyday life. These invaders are often hidden and “swept under the rug” and without addressing them, they can become dangerous. These invaders are sins that go unattended. For you they may be an unforgiving heart, a secret addiction, an unwillingness to listen to reason, or even a simply disobedience to a specific direction from God. After a while of being ignored, these invaders can create a feeling of bitterness, paranoia, and even fatigue. We begin to even question whether God is near us. To make matters worse then tendency is to build shields of denial, pride, and entitlement. These sins then become things that we feel like we have earned the right to possess. This leads to the previously implied erosion of the soul.

Like in many other scenarios, a good defense is sometimes the best offense. This means if we are constantly on our guard against the enemies attacks we will be energized by the victories we see regularly. Each day we must choose to allow God to search our hearts and reveal those pesky invaders. It is not something we do once and call it quits. This is a daily process. When He has revealed them to us, we then repent and find that doing so brings us closer to Him.

Trust Him with your heart today, and allow Him to be the hero against those pesky invaders.