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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: Leviticus
By Beth LaBuff
01/28/13


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The bleating and the lowing reach my ears before I see them approach. They come, leading their animals for the sacrifices: the sheep, the bulls, and the goats—all to be offered up to Yahweh. I try to focus on my priestly duties and not mull over the dream, the dream last night that gave exodus to my sleep.

Day after day, year after year, we offer these sacrifices. My life has become an endless repetition. By day, I offer sacrifices to Yahweh; at night, a perpetual procession of animals parade though my sleep. I hear them; their scents permeate my slumber, and their blood soaks through my dreams.

Today I travel a worn path as I bear this sin offering to be burned outside the camp. I nod to those who pass by. They, too, bring their animals for the burnt offerings, for the guilt offerings, and for sin offerings. No matter how many we offer today, it seems our work is never finished, because tomorrow we will sacrifice more. The smell of blood ambushes me. Last night’s dream bursts into my mind, a dream I’ve had countless times.

In the dream I heard the lowing of cattle and the bleating of sheep. There was an inexhaustible line of animals, all sprinkled with blood. As they filed past me, they looked neither to the right, nor the left. Like an arrow seeking a victim, their path was straight. They led me up to a craggy hill, where a shadowy figure was raised high. Then, instantly I awoke. The dream left me unsettled; I hungered to know its meaning.

I shake my head to clear my thoughts. Day after day, there are so many animals and so much blood. Moses says Yahweh requires it for forgiveness of sins, so we must do it. Is Yahweh pleased with these sacrifices? Will my son, and his son after him, be required to offer these same sacrifices year after year? As I finish my work for today, I head back to my tent; my clothing and hands are stained. I sigh. Will the dream plague my slumber tonight?

Oh Yahweh, how long must we offer these sacrifices? Nevertheless, I am a priest from Aaron’s line, and I will be careful to do all that you ask of me. May my service be pleasing in Your sight.

***
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties;
again and again he offers the same sacrifices,
which can never take away sins
.
Hebrews 10:11

When Christ came as high priest ...
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves;
but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood,
having obtained eternal redemption.

Hebrews 9:11-12
(NIV 1984)



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This article has been read 580 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 01/31/13
Insightful and imaginative approach to the topic, which draws us towards God's answer to his questions about the value of his seemingly-endless rituals.
Noel Mitaxa 01/31/13
Insightful and imaginative approach to the topic, which draws us towards God's answer to his questions about the value of his seemingly-endless rituals.
Camille (C D) Swanson 01/31/13
I enjoyed this well written piece. The message was powerful and completely on topic. Thank you.

God bless~
Loren T. Lowery01/31/13
Hebrews is one of my favorite books of the Bible - it explains (clarifies) so many things. Leviticus? Not so much - thank goodness for the Good News of the Gospel. Your story brought to mind many people in "priestly" positions even in today's era. How many confessions must they hear? How difficult for them it must be, knowing that it is no longer sacrifice required, but only obedience. The final sacrifice already made. This story is profound in this way.
Joe Moreland02/01/13
You really placed me there in the place of the priest and the struggle with making the sacrifices, day after day; year after year. I identified with him and felt his pain and found myself wishing I could tell him it wouldn't be this way forever. You made him that real to me.

Excellent job!
Sally Hanan02/01/13
Love your wordsmithing: the dream last night that gave exodus to my sleep; their blood soaks through my dreams; my clothing and hands are stained. This was my favorite line though: Nevertheless . . . I will be careful to do all that you ask of me.
Carolyn Ancell02/01/13
Really excellent take on the topic, and fascinating POV character. Well-written, and held my attention completely!
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/04/13
Your "pen" was truly inspired in this wonderful visual of a time gone by. What makes it even more wonderful is our knowledge that goes beyond what was known then. This is a beautifully written piece that makes me think and think and think and PRAISE.
Margaret Kearley 02/05/13
And so it was! Wow, this is so powerful. You have illustrated amazingly the pouring out of surely many a Godly aching heart in those hundred of years of Old Testament sacrifice. All looking forward 'to a better and living sacrifice'. Thank you so much for this poignant and thought-provoking piece of wonderful writing. It fills you again with wonder of what Christ has done in His once for all sacrifice. Really great.
Loren T. Lowery02/07/13
Way to go, Beth! I love the way you are able to weave Biblical principles into a story with Biblical reference without sounding "preachy" - it's truly a gift and one I admire greatly.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/07/13
Congratulations on EC for this wonderful piece. You already know I love it!
Danielle King 02/07/13
Congratulations Beth. Such talent!
Margaret Kearley 02/07/13
Many many congratulations Beth. As you know, I think this is just wonderful and really touched my heart on the first and subsequent readings. Fantastic.
Ellen Carr 02/08/13
Congratulations Beth! Your EC and your HC are both well-deserved. This is very well written and a moving reminder of what used to be - sacrifice after sacrifice, before The Great Sacrifice. Thanks.
Yvonne Blake 02/08/13
Very powerful!
Bea Edwards 02/09/13
Wow- I don't have words to describe the impact your story had on me. Still mulling...
You painted pictures that will be forever etched on my mind when reading through these disturbing sections of the Bible.
Well done! and Congrats!!