Focal Passage: Lev. 23:9-14
Can you call it a lecture if it is only six words?
Dr. Walter Barge walked into the “seminar” class for history majors and began a rousing discussion by simply saying:
“There is no priority among essentials.”
He then stood silent and let the debate begin. I have heard some really fine educators say that if you can get a class to own a discussion then you have really achieved something. Well on that night, Barge was ripe with achievement. For about two hours, my fellow would-be historians and I talked about the fact that you will die of suffocation before you die of thirst.
And so while both air and water are essential to human survival, air really is a priority among those two essentials. We went back and forth about those six words until long after we should have packed our back packs and headed for the dorm.
Again, I think Barge won that night. And if him having won by getting young minds to embrace a topic and hammer it out on intellectual anvils wasn’t enough, I think each of us also left the room that night having gotten his point. When something becomes a priority, it is so for a reason.
Is worship a priority for you?
Can it be?
Should it be?
In Lev. 23, God is giving instructions to Moses on how the people are to worship. At verse 14 the instructions begin to, if you will, prioritize essentials. God tells the people not to eat or drink until they have brought their offering, which is an act of worship. It is as if God is saying don’t even do the things “essential” to life until you have worshipped. Really? Don’t feed the hungry or do disaster relief until after we have taken care of the life essentials that are in such desperate need?
Well that sounds like a question that would make good fodder for a classroom discussion. And like Dr. Barge, the way it’s asked isn’t even the point.
We live busy lives today, so busy in fact that even our “church” time is filled with meetings, work sessions, rehearsals, and the list goes on. But where does worship come in this line of essential things we must do?
God says it must be first.