February 27 Numbers 19-21 & Hebrews 3
Numbers challenges you and I to reflect on who we are for our local Church community. “Then somebody who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and deposit them in a clean place outside the camp.” Then later in the chapter “Then someone who is clean will take hyssop, dip it in this water, and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the vessels and persons that were in it, or on the one who touched the bone, the slain person or the other corpse, or the grave.” Who is that somebody? There is God’s work to be done. It has to be done – Oh well someone else will do it……. I am very grateful for those who step up to God’s work in our parish!!! It is not easy, each day we all have many important commitments and only so much energy and time. The Israelite person that stood up and was that “somebody” that cleaned up the ashes suffered the fate of being unclean till evening. They accepted the consequences out of love of God and community. God, family and your Church are our 1st commitments. That is why it is so important that we each do our part. What does God ask of you for the good of your relationship with him, your family and your Church community? Sometimes other denominations accuse us of worshiping idols. They recall the commandment, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image …” So is what God asked Moises to do violating this commandment? “the LORD said to Moses: Make a seraph and mount it on a pole, and everyone who has been bitten will look at it and recover. Accordingly Moses made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever the serpent bit someone, the person looked at the bronze serpent and recovered.” No. God can and does use whatever he wishes to help his people. We do not worship statues or crucifixes. We use them to help us remember what God had done through Christ and his saints.
Hebrews today calls us to thanksgiving for all that God has created and his faithful servant Moises and his faithful Son, Jesus Christ. Hebrews 3:12-15 “Take care, brothers, that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God. Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin. We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end, for it is said: “Oh, that today you would hear his voice: ‘Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion.’”