Monday 10 March 2014

Bible Book:

"You shall love your neighbour as yourself." (v. 18)

Leviticus 19:11-18 Monday 10 March 2014


Long before Jesus spent time in the wilderness the Israelitenation spent 40 long years there and the book of Leviticus is setin that period. Encamped at Mount Sinai, how were the Israelites toorder their lives and keep themselves pure and holy? Theregulations and legislation of Leviticus sought to provide thenecessary framework.

Chapter 19 lies at the heart of Leviticus, defining and inspiringholy behaviour. "You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God amholy" (Leviticus 19:1) locates the source and natureof holiness and identifies it as a hallmark of being close to God."You shall love your neighbour as yourself" is perhaps the mostfamous embodiment of what a holy lifestyle entails.

The levitical understanding of holiness impacts on the whole oflife with very practical implications for how society is ordered.It was about ritual cleanliness but it was also about justice,fairness, community and health. The notion that holiness influencesall aspects of our behaviour has its roots here in the regulationsof Leviticus.

Being separated or 'set apart' from what is corrupt or unclean isnot to remove oneself from the responsibilities of everyday life.Rather, through drawing us closer to God it enables us to be morelike God; more generous, more just, more whole - more committed tothe well-being of others. There is no separation here betweenreligious observance and ethical behaviour - they are two sides ofthe same coin.

In Jesus Christ, God was immersed fully in human life and the lifeof the world, whilst remaining holy. If we are to be holy in thisway we too must be fully engaged with our world and the challengesit faces, whilst nurturing, embodying and reflecting the nature ofGod as revealed in Christ.

To Ponder

  • Holiness is not something limited to a particular religiousclass - it is the calling of all who would call themselvesChristian. Where is the holiness in your life and lifestyle?
  • As you journey through Lent consider how your religiousobservance and ethical behaviour might be better integrated.
Previous Page Sunday 09 March 2014
Next Page Tuesday 11 March 2014