It makes sense that our Heavenly Father wants His children to get along. Those of us that are parents certainly understand that. I personally have a special joyous feeling in my heart when my children get along. I used to wonder why it was so important to my parents, but as a mom I totally get it.
In Leviticus I read of the “fellowship offering”, also known as the “peace offering”. Leviticus 3 tells us all about it, but here in chapter 19 we learn a few extra rules, that it is to be eaten on the day of the sacrifice or the next day, but on the third day it is to be burned up. I suppose that means that you really do have to have a feast or two, and share the meat with your neighbors, in order to eat it in two days. While I think the fellowship/peace is to be between the offeror and God, I can certainly see how that fellowship is extended to the offeror’s neighbors! In Mark we see Jesus tell the disciples that “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” While Jesus is the final and ultimate sacrifice for our sins, he is also the final sacrifice of all types, to include the fellowship offering. I don’t know if there is any link between the fellowship offering being burnt up on the third day and Jesus rising on the third day but that did stand out to me.
Another thing that jumped out at me in today’s readings is the command in Levitcus 18:3 – “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” “Love your neighbor as yourself” is one of the two commands that Jesus said were the most important, and yet it is woven in among so many other commands, some of them foundational and others that seem trivial and strange (such as not wearing clothing mixed with different kinks of thread, or not cutting your beard). Then in Mark, Jesus tells his disciples that they need to be servants to all, they need to be pure, they need to have the qualities of salt in themselves, and live in peace with each other.
Living in peace with each other is a priority in Jesus’ teachings. What do I do, on a regular basis, to promote peace? Do I seek revenge and bear grudges, or do I love my neighbor as myself?