Originally scheduled for June 3
"Speak to Aaron, saying, 'No man of your
offspring throughout their generations who has a defect shall
approach to offer the food of his God. 'For no one who has a defect
shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man, or he who has a
disfigured face, or any deformed limb,
(Leviticus 21:17-18 NASB)
It may sound curious today, with our emphasis
on treating everyone equally. But in the days of Moses and
following, the priest who presented offerings on the altar of the
Lord had to be someone with no bodily defects. The verses following
list quite a few more; these restrictions are in addition to the
fact that he must be a descendent of Aaron. But just being a
descendent of Aaron was not good enough; you had to be bodily
perfect. Which means that if you were blind, among other things, you
could not present sacrificial offerings. You couldn’t even go beyond
the veil to get to the altar. Interestingly, such a person was
entitled to eat the offerings which were given to the priests as a
share — but they could not perform the ceremony of sacrifice.
What must it be like to have God call you
defective! Your author know something about this, because he wears
an eye patch over his right eye. It is not an enhancement; it is not
a fashion statement; defect is a good name for it. This prohibition
is designed to let the people of Israel know that the real atonement
for sins has to be made by somebody who is perfect. That person is
But consider the blind man at Communion:
It’s obvious that he is a sinner —
just like the rest of us. We are all “defective” in that regard.
It may be that the blind man needs a
little help, physically, to participate in communion.
But it’s also obvious that the rest
of us need a little help, spiritually.
You might think of taking communion as being
something you do by yourself. This is not really the case. We are
told that we are to confess our sins one to another, and forgive
each other. That is not a solo activity; indeed, it may need some
help from those around us in the form of encouragement. Sometimes,
some of us need some help with a besetting sin. We need it both in
overcoming that sin, and encouragement take the Lord’s communion in
repentance. We also need to take communion and fellowship with all
the other believers present. If you have something against your
brother you are commanded to reconcile so that you may take
communion with a clean heart.
So take communion this morning in a worthy
manner. Be at peace with your brothers and sisters in Christ;
forgive those who have offended you and ask forgiveness for those
you have offended. Then partake with the solemnity fitting the body
and blood of Jesus Christ.