Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Few Details

I'm noticing so many points of continuity between Old Covenant Worship and Christian Worship as I plow through the Pentateuch.

***Confession-Numbers 5:5-7 "And the LORD said to Moses, "Say to the People of Israel, When a man or woman commits any of the sins that men commit by breaking faith with the LORD, and that person is guilty, he shall confess his sin which he has committed; and he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it, and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong."

And I'm wondering...how could it not be?...when a person brought a sin offering, did they not have to tell the priest what it was for?

And we Orthodox Christians make confession in front of our offering: Christ and the cross of Christ.

***The cost of worship: The tabernacle, the holy things, etc. all very costly. But it's a both-and proposition, not an either-or proposition for the people of God when it comes to a balance between worship and caring for the poor in their midst. The argument is still heard today, the same one Judas used when objecting to the woman with the expensive nard.

***Priestly vestments: "And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty." -Ex. 28:2

***Icons: The Mercy Seat had icons of cherubim on it. As did the veil (Ex. 26:31 between the Holy of Holies and the Sanctuary. What were the cherubim, but the mediators of the covenant? Hebrews 2:2: "For if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received and just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?" My point is, in the Old Covenant worship, the Church had icons of the bringers of the covenant on their screen and in their holy space. And in the New Covenant worship, the Church has icons of the bringers of the covenant (God himself: Jesus Christ, his "mercy seat" the Theotokos Mary, his proclaimer St. John the Forerunner) on it's icon screen as well.

It is very interesting to intersperse reading the Epistle to the Hebrews with reading the Pentateuch.

***A Kingdom of Priests-"Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own poessession among all people,s for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." -Ex. 19:5-6

Being a kingdom of priests does not mean there is not a priesthood in their midst: "Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests-" -Ex. 28:1

ergo: "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."--1 Peter 2:9 has since the earliest Church not precluded a ministry of the Episcopate.

OK, that's all for now. I gotta go start my day...

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