Sacred Pauses for Renewal

Saturday- The Torah
Leviticus 25:1–28

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


“Pause for Thought” – French Painter, W.A. Bouguereau

Special provisions for social justice are celebrated every fifty-years—seven times seven years. It is the year of jubilee. The root of this word means, “to split the ears” with a trumpet blast that announces the beginning of this sacred period. Captives were set free. No land could be permanently sold from its original owner; in the Jubilee year, it was returned. Jesus applied the term to himself and his ministry in Luke 4:19.

Jesus ushered in a Jubilee, which will never end. With him comes a never-ending Sabbath. Still, find times for Sabbath days and longer stretches of time when you can rest and find sacred renewal of energies. Make good use of all the “mini-sabbaths” in life,times of transition in your day—sacred pauses for renewal.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Turning inward where You live. v. 10
Depending on You alone v. 12
Living secure where I am v. 18
All the land belongs to You. v. 23

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

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 third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Everything Can Be Sacred

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Leviticus 23—24

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

The celebrations in which Jewish people take part have their origins in the revelation of God to Moses. There is another listing of the feasts with details about how they are to be honored. These are the direct words of God to the people concerning how the seasons for farming and other events become sacred celebrations, ways to give God honor and glory.

I recall what Ignatius of Loyola wanted for the Jesuits: "Let them find God in all things." How can you take the things you are called to do and have them become acts of worship and honor to the Lord?

This may help; the word "profane" in Latin means: "In front of the temple." What is outside of the "temple" where the Lord dwells is profane. However, you are the temple of the Lord where the Blessed Trinity dwells. Actions that flow from this presence are sacred, those that do not are profane. May you grow in knowing Who lives within you.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Finding now some Sabbath time 23:3
Offering the best of me 23:10
Offering my food to You 23:37
Shining the light of my life

For more about this way to pray, see “Daily Bible Breaths” in the menu above.

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.


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 third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12, so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions near the International Date Line.

Wholeness in Jesus

Saturday – The Torah
Leviticus 21—22

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Photo Courtesy – http://www.susangaddis.net

Physically challenged persons otherwise handicapped were not permitted to serve as priests in the Old Testament. There is a valid principle at work: only that which is without defect can approach the altar. Only what is complete and the best is to be given to God.

Thank God for Jesus! He is the only perfect One who is also willing to share the perfection of grace with all those who give their lives to him. Thus, there is no need for us literally to fulfill the principle behind restricting servants of the Lord to whole persons; Jesus makes us whole.

While all this is true, still be sure that you are giving your best to the Lord. Your whole heart, your complete intention, your number-one desire is to dedicate your life to God alone.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Holiness making wholeness 21:16
Keeping the charge of the Lord 22:9
Reverence for Your holy name 22:32
Being sanctified by You 22:32

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

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 third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

The Stranger and the Sacred

Passover – The Torah
Leviticus 19

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Photo Courtesy – http://thereforegodexists.com

Ceremonial and moral laws are considered again, as in Exodus and Deuteronomy. First on the list is honoring of father and mother. Four times Jesus quotes the second half of v. 18 as a summary of all the commandments with respect to our neighbor (Matthew 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27).

The manner of treating strangers is very sacred in the life of a Jew. Respect for them is due because the Jew was a stranger in the land of Egypt. The stranger and the sacred were very much understood together. Benedict, born about 480 A.D., the founder of western monasticism, stated in his Rule: Hospes venit, Christus venit. “A stranger comes, Christ comes.” The spirituality of Leviticus interprets all things as either connected to God, the sacred, or disconnected from God, the profane. Doing the will of God means that all choices are in keeping with what the Lord calls the person to be. Everything is potentially sacred.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Holy, for You are holy. v. 2
“Love your neighbor as yourself”. v. 8
“Hospes venit, Christus venit.” St. Benedict
Loving to keep sabbath time v. 29

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

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 third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

The Day of Atonement

Saturday – The Torah
Leviticus 16

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Photo Courtesy – http://www.eborg3.com

The Day of Atonement is the most sacred day of the year for a Jew, usually occurring in early October. This is the only time when the priest in the times of the Bible would enter into The Holy of Holies, that sacred, inner center of the Temple.

Every day, every moment, you can be in The Holy of Holies which is your very own heart. It is your heart that best expresses who you really are. Maybe your heart is hurting; Jesus meets you there. The presence of Jesus in you through his Holy Spirit, makes you holy.

A scapegoat was a goat that was bound with all the sins of the people, then banished to the desert with the sins tied to it. We have come to use this word whenever any blames someone else for what is really not that person’s fault. Jesus was something like that. All the sins of the world we tied to Jesus on the cross. Our sins died with him! Jesus’ forgiving love is stronger than death. He shares his risen life with us.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Cleanse my heart to worship You. v. 4
Jesus atoning for sin v. 10
Incense rising from my heart v. 12
You bear our iniquities. v. 22

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

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 third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

The Power of Ritual

Saturday – The Torah
Leviticus 14:1-32

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Photo Courtesy – From photos of 70 years at Taizé http://taize.fr

Cleansing is a spiritual as well as a physical reality. The ritual described here has a movement and rhythm designed to deepen the healing of leprosy. Each gesture is one of caring. There is no haste, but rather a slow doing and re-doing of the movement of the Lords’ command.

Be careful about being hasty in your prayer and your spiritual exercises. Clear a space for yourself to come into the presence of God, submitting your life to the cleansing and healing power of God’s love. Once again, the basic theme of Leviticus: holiness before the Lord means to be dedicated, set apart, and uncontaminated from the “leprosy” of the world.

Faith makes rituals have power. Ritual becomes the vehicle for the grace of God.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Anoint me and make me clean. 14:12ff
Cover me, Lord, with Your blood 14:14
The atoning love of Christ
Holy and cleansed before You

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

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 third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

The Gift of Discernment

Saturday – The Torah
Leviticus 12:1—13:28

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Photo Courtesy – http://www.thethingswesay.com

You will be familiar with this ordinance of God from St. Luke’s account of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:22 ff). Jesus submits to the regulations of the Law in order to go beyond it. Jesus IS the Law and the Temple itself.

The priest is the one who diagnoses leprosy. This comes from the anointing for discernment outlined in the reading of last Saturday, Lev. 10:9-11.

Pray to the Lord that you be given the gift of discernment. We are intended to tell the difference between what is clean and unclean in all aspects of life. We also need to discern the spiritual spaces of those with whom we associate, at the same time, never judging.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Offering my self to You 12:1ff
Christ is atonement for me. 12:8
Heal me, Lord, and make me whole. 13:1ff
Cleanliness and Godliness

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

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 third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.