Leviticus 3:16-17 (from The Message)
“All the fat belongs to God. This is the fixed rule down through the generations, wherever you happen to live. Don’t eat the fat, don’t eat the blood. None of it.”
This week, I am at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro. Yep. I’m a walking scorer. Because of COVID, there are no spectators. The places they build for galleries are not there. The volunteers they need because of galleries are not there. It’s just three pros, their caddies, and me. There are no handshakes. We wear masks inside any kind of enclosure and if we’re close to other people. We have been told to stay 15 feet away from the golfers and their caddies. Good shots go un-applauded. Bad shots elicit no groans from the crowds.
On Thursday, one of my guys shot the very worst round of the day. I felt so sorry for him as putts missed and he struggled to get out of the high rough. He was 7 over par. But everything is relative. If I ever shoot 7 over par again, I am going to be ecstatic! I’m going to bounce into the house full of joy. This guy, moped to his motel room full of gloom. I kept thinking that at least no one was there to witness his debacle but I would love for a large crowd to see me drop the last putt that took me to an under-80 round.
So what does this have to do with fat? Reading through the recipes of the offerings to be made before God is NOT an exciting thing. In fact, you’ll never hear a sermon about taking the bird and wrenching its neck and draining its blood and ripping it open by its wings. But the Bible, which was written by priests (inspired as they were) makes sure that the priests are to be fed. That’s what the sacrifices are for! Burnt offerings? I thought it meant burned up. In fact, when we were first married, Rachel treated me like a god: she served me burnt offerings!
So why does the fat belong to God? Probably because it was the tastiest and it’s what the priests ate. Alas…as we now know…what is always the tastiest isn’t always the best for us. Pizza, hamburgers, ice cream, Coke, sweat tea, marbled steak and pork are all on the no-fly list for me. So I guess God can have it! Pastors are now told not to sit down for covered dish dinners at churches but to socialize; it’s better for our church and better for our health!
We’re find that a lot of things that used to be good for us are no longer good: hugging, close fellowship, being beside others in worship, having Communion given to us, singing in choirs (one of the absolute most positive things we can do for our souls), reaching out to strangers, football, wedding cake, and bringing joy to a crowded room. Now what’s good for us is isolation, Zoom (ugh), not being able to recognize people behind masks, excessive use of soap (which probably isn’t awful, you know), and working remotely. The disinfectant in the air around the golf course affected my odor detection!
The world is in turmoil…but it all belongs to God. And so do we.
Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee. Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love. Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee. Amen.
Pastor Rick Moser