Then the priest must remove all the goat’s fat
in the same way the fat is removed from the fellowship offerings.
He must burn it on the altar as a smell pleasing to the Lord.
In this way the priest will remove that person’s sin so he will belong to the Lord,
and the Lord will forgive him. v. 31
Today’s reading is a sample of the kinds of sacrifices performed when certain sins were committed. We no longer make gifts or offerings out of slain animals and sweet-smelling smoke rising to God, yet we do something similar when we want to make things right with someone we have hurt. We want to do something “sweet” to make up for the “sour” in what we did. We give candy, flowers…some gift to the other that reminds them that the there is a new freshness in our love which sometimes means “I’m sorry.”
It is the same with God. While we don’t use animals in this way any longer, we do need to do something to show God that we are sorry for when we go against God’s love and the plans God has for us.
Since Jesus died for the smallest and the greatest sins, there is nothing that is not covered by the blood of Jesus on the cross. So bring your sins and wrongs to the cross and lay them there. Jesus loves you and wants to have you back into close union with him. The blood of Christ shed for you turns your sorrow for sin into a sweet smelling smoke rising from the cross.
Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Love as a sweet-smelling smoke
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.
Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the second part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.
Solar and Sacred Seasons
Some adjustments to make the church year simpler.
These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet. More information…