Happy Saturday to all my friend near and far away! Today is Saturday, February 29th, 2020. It is also a special day, today is Leap Day! This extraordinary day only happens every 4 years, so 2020 will have 366 days instead of the usually 365. Happy Birthday to all those celebrating a unique Birthday Celebration!
“O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” ~Psalm 51:15-17
The “BLAME” game, have you heard of it? What about “SCAPEGOAT” is that a term you are familiar with? After reading my devotional today, I decided to do some research and in the process learned a lot about the origin of “scapegoat” as it relates to scripture. It is a Jewish ritual used in the Old Testament and can be found in Leviticus 16:1-34.
• a goat upon whose head are symbolically placed the sins of the people after which he is sent into the wilderness in the biblical ceremony for Yom Kippur
• one that bears the blame for others
• one that is the object of irrational hostility
During this first week of Lent, the focus has been on REPENT. Repentance is key to a full and rich relationship with God. We must come before God in prayer taking responsibility for our actions and turn away from our sinful ways. We cannot blame others for our mistakes. We cannot sacrifice the innocence of others to purify ourselves. God does not want us to sacrifice life but to live a life pleasing to Him. It is the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross that makes it possible for us to have life and to live it abundantly. It is God’s Grace and God’s Mercy that makes it possible for us to be in relationship with the God of all creation. The Holy One! The question we must ask ourselves is this, “Does our hearts break for what breaks God’s?” We are called to repentance, so we may be cleansed of our sins and live a life pleasing to God. With a clean heart we are able to spread God’s love and sing praises to God, for He alone offers forgiveness and new life.
Stop the blame game! Stop blaming yourself and others. Seek forgiveness and renewal. Accept your humanness, not as a fault or abnormality but for its truth, you are a BELOVED child of God, created with intentionality and purpose. YOU MATTER! 💚
Read aloud Psalm 51:15-19, “O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, pyou would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then you will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.”
In closing, the suggested practice for today is to let you know that God will never ask us to be a scapegoat – for our own faults or the faults of others. God simply wants our hearts to break for what breaks His.
ειρήνη – “Peace” in Greek, reference listed below.