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St. Mark's and Immanuel Lutheran Church

St.Marks:N1210 Rich Rd.
Immanuel:W7082 Pearl St.

Watertown, WI  53098


Pastor's Update 

Read Through Your Bible in Two Years Challenge
Reading Through The Bible — Week 9
·1/21 Monday.  Read Exodus 34:1-35
· If time is short focus on v.1-9.
· 34:6,7  A KEY passage of the Old Testament.  God reveals the meaning of His special Name Yaweh, (“I AM”).  Note carefully God’s name is all that He has shown Himself to be among us.  It reveals His true existence and His faithful love, but also that He is faithful to judge.
· Israel has broken the covenant already, but God renews that covenant with Moses and Israel.  This is GRACE!
· Moses reflected the glory of God.  If you meet with God and listen to Him your face may not shine, but you will also find yourself unwittingly reflecting God’s grace and glory.  For a New Testament thought on this see 2 Corinthians 3:7-18.  And remember you are the Light of the world.  Jesus said so!
1/22 Tuesday.  Read Exodus 35:1—36:38
· If time is short focus on 35:20-35.
· Our reading for today and tomorrow is for the most part the same as chapters 25-28 except now we hear how those instructions are carried out to the last detail.
· Note that before the work begins on the tabernacle and its holy articles, Moses reminds them of the Sabbath regulations. That day of complete rest and the ceremonies connected with the tabernacle were not only to make them stop their business and remember God’s great deeds done for them, but also to create in them a thirst for the rest and peace that would yet come in the Messiah. (Col. 2:17; Heb. 4:3,9-11).  We have the Messiah and are no longer bound by the Sabbath regulations, but our worship has basically the same purpose.
· In chapter 35 we hear of the offering made for the materials for the Tabernacle.  Did you notice yesterday that God had said, “No one is to appear before Me empty-handed.” (34:20)  Note how often Moses stresses that God wants a WILLING offering (v.5,21,22,29)  When an offering comes from a truly willing and thank-filled heart, there will be more than enough to do what God wants done. (36;4-7).  How is that true today?  Is it true for you?
· 35:31,35 & 36:2  Remember to thank God today for both the skills He has given you AND the willingness to use them.  Thank God also for the many different gifts He has given our congregation.
1/23 Wednesday.  Read Exodus 37:1– 38:30
· If time is short focus on 37:1-7
· Each of the pieces of furniture for the tabernacle had symbolic significance.  That is especially true of THE ARK.  The word for atonement in the NT is literally “cover,” referring to the cover of the Ark with its two cherubim.  God was said to dwell between the cherubim.  Once a year on the Day of Atonement the high priest poured blood on the “cover” to hide the sins of the people (represented by the two stone tablets inside the Ark) from the presence of God… a vivid picture of Jesus. 
· THE TABLE with its bread pictured the presence of God in His rich provision… maybe even the Bread of Life?
· THE LAMBSTAND with its seven oil lambs is connected with the Spirit of God… and maybe even the Light of the World?
· THE ALTAR OF INCENSE, the prayers of God’s people rising like a fragrant incense to God.
· THE ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERING and the BASIN FOR WASHING, for purification of the priests and offerings and the whole range of offerings each with their special significance.
· Note the extravagant cost of it all!  Is anything too good for our God and His worship???
1/24 Thursday.  Read Exodus 39:1—40:38
· If time is short focus on 39:1-14; 40:34-39.
· If you are beginning to get a bit bogged down on the detail note the reoccurring theme of these chapters: 39:32,42,43;  40:16,21,23,25,27,29,32.  A holy and loving God deserves complete faithfulness in all detail.  Have we become a bit sloppy in our obedience, reverence, and worship?
· The Tabernacle was set up almost a year after the institution of the Passover.  It had been quite a year.  The climax of Exodus is the LORD, (Jaweh) showing His approval of the work done by entering the tent church in the form of the bright cloud and guiding all their travels in the wilderness.
· This occurrence cannot help but make us think of all of the NT passages where we are reminded that this same “glory”… the LORD Himself lives in these fleshly temples of our bodies. His glory is seen today not in the outward visible brightness of the tabernacle… but as you and I let our lights shine before men.
1/25 Friday.  Read Leviticus 1:1-17
· If time is short focus on v.1-9.
· The third book of the Penteteuch (the five books of Moses), Leviticus (having to do with the Levites, the priestly tribe of Israel) begins with a detailed description of the five offerings, or sacrifices that could be made.  The first we hear of is the Burnt Offering.
· Burnt Offering also known as holocaust (meaning wholly burnt) could be different animals BUT they must be “without defect.” (v.3,10)  Only the best for the LORD!
· Notice in this offering there is a laying of “his hand on the head” of the offering.  This symbolized an identification between the worshiper and the sacrificial animal. The animal was taking his place.  In this case the animal being totally burnt up. Thus this offering expressed TOTAL belonging to the Lord.  (Read 2 Cor. 5:14,15) Oh how important it is for all God’s people to be reminded constantly that they are not their own but “are bought with a price,” wholly dedicated to the Lord.  Every corner of our lives belong to Him.
· “an aroma pleasing to the LORD.”  I’m not sure how pleasing the smell of burning flesh and innards would be… but if it was God’s people expressing their dedication to Him, it was a pleasing smell to Jaweh!
1/26 Saturday.  Read Leviticus 2:1—3:17
· If time is short focus on 3:1-17.
· The GRAIN OFFERING was the only bloodless sacrifice.  Hebrew word for this offering means a “present” or a “gift.”  Does not the Lord who owns everything deserve a gift of all He has lent to us.  A part of this pie crust type of cake was burnt on the altar for the worshipper and a part burnt for the priests as their gift.
· Three ingredients are interesting.  No yeast (apparently yeast symbolized sin)… no honey (maybe because of its use in heathen worship.)  But “Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your offerings.” (v.13)  Salt was an important, costly part of their diet (again the best is the Lord’s and expressed their relationship with God.)
· The FELLOWSHIP OFFERING also known as the peace offering and expressed the peace between the one offering and God.  Note only the fat portions were offered to God (again the richest goes to God.)  This is the only sacrifice where part was eaten by the one offering.  The fellowship meal of this offering between the Israelite and priest expressed and celebrated that peace or friendship with God. (3:17 see 17:11)
1/27  Sunday.  God’s Word that we meditate on this 3rd Sunday of Epiphany are these:
- Isaiah 61:1-6  The text of Jesus’ sermon in His hometown of Nazareth (see Gospel lesson)
- 1 Corinthians 12:12-21,26,27  Paul continues his teaching on spiritual gifts.  Just as every part of the human body has a function and is important, so also each of us,though different, are part of the body of Christ, and have a purpose and are important.
- Luke 4:14-21  Jesus uses our OT lesson as His text to reveal who He really is to the home-town folks at Nazareth.

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