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Speaking to the Soul: A Blood Bath

Speaking to the Soul: A Blood Bath

Week of 3 Easter, Year Two

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 105:1-22 (morning) // 105:23-45 (evening)

Exodus 24:1-18

Colossians 2:8-23

Matthew 4:12-17

Moses seals a covenant between God and God’s people in a most dramatic way today. After Moses tells the people how God wants them to live, Moses writes down all of God’s expectations. Then, early in the morning, Moses builds an altar at the foot of the mountain where God dwells. With the help of some other people, Moses sacrifices oxen and divides all the blood into two portions.

The first portion of sacrificial blood is “dashed against the altar.” The rest of the blood Moses collects in basins, and after reading from the book of the covenant and hearing the people agree to its terms, Moses takes the blood and spatters it on the people. So, with both the altar and the people dripping in blood, the covenant is sealed.

Our own sacramental materials seem so tame in comparison. On occasion, we are sprinkled with drips of water that has been poured into the baptismal font. More frequently, we drink the wine that has been poured out and consecrated on the altar. Today’s first reading is a shocking reminder that these liquids that we sip and sprinkle are in fact signs of a God who drenches and binds us in a transformative way of life, a life that we take up every day.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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