During our morning staff meeting at Grace we’re slowly reading through the Bible, one chapter a day. We’re into Leviticus, with all the details on sacrifices, ordination, and the requirements for being set apart. The reading has got me thinking about holiness.
On hearing the word “holiness” what do you see/think of? For me it’s a white cloth or a robe. A very clean and very bright white robe. Years of Sunday school flannel-graphs have influenced the image, making my finial picture a stylised priest wearing the white robe in the very clean “temple setting” with everything looking very one-dimensional. My mental image is colliding with what Leviticus says. The OT methods of how to be cleansed and redeemed are messy -very messy. Nothing of what we’re reading is neat, clean or tidy. There’s blood being poured, sprinkled, and strewn. Blood thrown on the four sides of the altar and blood placed on Aaron and his sons. It’s a lot blood. The details of killing each animal with explanations on how to handle each section on the animal seems more like butcher training then my ideas of what a priest does. There is no way the priest clothes could have stayed clean, let alone Tide-with-bleach-white.
Each morning as we read it hits me: the cost of holiness is messy