We usually don’t get too excited about the book of Leviticus and that I’m doing prep work for a sermon from Leviticus likely won’t induce you to jump over the moon nor run away with the spoon. However, if you are intrigued by what may result by Sunday, I invite you to show up at 10:00 at St. Paul’s, New Melle, Mo. St. Paul’s is just north of the Catholic church on County D.
In chapters 18-19, the statement “I am the Lord your God.” Or a variation of that is repeated at least 20 times. The reason we should not live as the rest of the world lives is because “I am Yahweh your Elohim.” Therefore, don’t uncover the nakedness of your parents or any women or practice any other sexual aberration.
“You shall be holy for I Yahweh am holy (Kadesh).” (19:2) Am I supposed to act like God just because he’s God? Well, yes. Here’s the Gospel reason. “I am Yahweh your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” For us the good news which tops even that is when Jesus, Yahweh become one of us, delivered us from slavery to not wanting to do what God wants us to do. The Red Sea event cost pharaoh and his army their lives. The event of the cross, cost God his life.
Therefore, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” Respect one another sexually. Respect your parents. Worship faithfully. Take care your neighbor’s need for food. Don’t lie to one another. Don’t cheat each other. Pay living wages. Don’t slander one another. Stand up and defend your neighbor. Treat the stranger as you would a member of your family.
This text from Leviticus is paired with Jesus parable of the hated, untrustworthy, worthless, Samaritan who turned out to be a man’s neighbor. Jesus blows to smithereens all the reasons we have for not taking care of others in their need.