As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Leviticus 19:9-18 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.
You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another. And you shall not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God: I am the Lord.
You shall not defraud your neighbor; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a laborer until morning. You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the Lord.
You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
Leviticus gets a bad wrap these days. It’s one of the biblical books of law where we can find extremely detailed accounts of how a priest was to conduct a burnt offering, how a woman should be purified after childbirth, and all kind of laws concerning the human body. Or put another way, a listing of mostly irrelevant rules that no longer apply to us spiritually or culturally.
But then we encounter our text for today, and its words are hyper-relevant. It’s reminiscent of the Ten Commandments: the opening verses of the chapter deal with humanity’s relationship with a Holy God, and our text deals with humanity’s relationship with each other.
With each set of instructions on how to deal with our neighbor, God reminds us in the phrase, “I am the Lord,” that God’s signature is indelibly imprinted on these instructions. And not only that, but in dealing kindly, self-sacrificially, and abundantly with our neighbors, we’re honoring and worshiping God in the process.
What an incredibly relevant reminder for us today.
God of our Neighbor, our Brother, and our Sister, we thank you for your provision. We thank you for giving us not only enough, but each other and your Spirit so that we never have to walk a moment in this world alone. Remind us every moment of your image found in your favorite creation. Amen.
Go with God!