It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Restoration to worship, a reflection on 1 Maccabees 4:36-61

Having routed the enemy, Judas and his brothers entered the sanctuary. They were appalled at its condition. They mourned. They lamented. They prayed.

Judas sent some men to fight against those in the citadel that had desecrated the sanctuary and chose priests to cleanse it. They tore down the altar but stored the stones away until a prophet could tell them what should be done with them.

They built a new altar, made new holy vessels, and prepared the sanctuary for worship. They celebrated in worship for eight days the dedication of the restored place of worship. (Echoes of festival of booths, Leviticus 23; 1 Kings 8).

Judas and his brothers and all the assembly determined that they should celebrate the dedication of the altar every year.

They built walls and strong towers, and stationed a garrison to protect the sanctuary.

What allows us, encourages us, to worship the Lord? What impedes our worship? What changes would encourage us to return to the altar?

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