Today our passages are Leviticus 11:1–12:8; Mark 5:21-43; Psalm 38:1-22; and Proverbs 10:8-9. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson. If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.
Leviticus 11-12:8 (The Message)
Foods1-2God spoke to Moses and Aaron: "Speak to the People of Israel. Tell them, Of all the animals on Earth, these are the animals that you may eat: 3-8 "You may eat any animal that has a split hoof, divided in two, and that chews the cud, but not an animal that only chews the cud or only has a split hoof. For instance, the camel chews the cud but doesn't have a split hoof, so it's unclean. The rock badger chews the cud but doesn't have a split hoof and so it's unclean. The rabbit chews the cud but doesn't have a split hoof so is unclean. The pig has a split hoof, divided in two, but doesn't chew the cud and so is unclean. You may not eat their meat nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.
9-12 "Among the creatures that live in the water of the seas and streams, you may eat any that have fins and scales. But anything that doesn't have fins and scales, whether in seas or streams, whether small creatures in the shallows or huge creatures in the deeps, you are to detest. Yes, detest them. Don't eat their meat; detest their carcasses. Anything living in the water that doesn't have fins and scales is detestable to you.
13-19 "These are the birds you are to detest. Don't eat them. They are detestable: eagle, vulture, osprey, kite, all falcons, all ravens, ostrich, nighthawk, sea gull, all hawks, owl, cormorant, ibis, water hen, pelican, Egyptian vulture, stork, all herons, hoopoe, bat.
20-23 "All flying insects that walk on all fours are detestable to you. But you can eat some of these, namely, those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground: all locusts, katydids, crickets, and grasshoppers. But all the other flying insects that have four legs you are to detest.
24-25 "You will make yourselves ritually unclean until evening if you touch their carcasses. If you pick up one of their carcasses you must wash your clothes and you'll be unclean until evening.
26 "Every animal that has a split hoof that's not completely divided, or that doesn't chew the cud is unclean for you; if you touch the carcass of any of them you become unclean.
27-28 "Every four-footed animal that goes on its paws is unclean for you; if you touch its carcass you are unclean until evening. If you pick up its carcass you must wash your clothes and are unclean until evening. They are unclean for you.
29-38 "Among the creatures that crawl on the ground, the following are unclean for you: weasel, rat, all lizards, gecko, monitor lizard, wall lizard, skink, chameleon. Among the crawling creatures, these are unclean for you. If you touch them when they are dead, you are ritually unclean until evening. When one of them dies and falls on something, that becomes unclean no matter what it's used for, whether it's made of wood, cloth, hide, or sackcloth. Put it in the water—it's unclean until evening, and then it's clean. If one of these dead creatures falls into a clay pot, everything in the pot is unclean and you must break the pot. Any food that could be eaten but has water on it from such a pot is unclean, and any liquid that could be drunk from it is unclean. Anything that one of these carcasses falls on is unclean—an oven or cooking pot must be broken up; they're unclean and must be treated as unclean. A spring, though, or a cistern for collecting water remains clean, but if you touch one of these carcasses you're ritually unclean. If a carcass falls on any seeds that are to be planted, they remain clean. But if water has been put on the seed and a carcass falls on it, you must treat it as unclean.
39-40 "If an animal that you are permitted to eat dies, anyone who touches the carcass is ritually unclean until evening. If you eat some of the carcass you must wash your clothes and you are unclean until evening. If you pick up the carcass you must wash your clothes and are unclean until evening.
41-43 "Creatures that crawl on the ground are detestable and not to be eaten. Don't eat creatures that crawl on the ground, whether on their belly or on all fours or on many feet—they are detestable. Don't make yourselves unclean or be defiled by them, because I am your God.
44-45 "Make yourselves holy for I am holy. Don't make yourselves ritually unclean by any creature that crawls on the ground. I am God who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Be holy because I am holy.
46-47 "These are the instructions on animals, birds, fish, and creatures that crawl on the ground. You have to distinguish between the ritually unclean and the clean, between living creatures that can be eaten and those that cannot be eaten."
Childbirth1-5 God spoke to Moses: "Tell the People of Israel, A woman who conceives and gives birth to a boy is ritually unclean for seven days, the same as during her menstruation. On the eighth day circumcise the boy. The mother must stay home another thirty-three days for purification from her bleeding. She may not touch anything consecrated or enter the Sanctuary until the days of her purification are complete. If she gives birth to a girl, she is unclean for fourteen days, the same as during her menstruation. She must stay home for sixty-six days for purification from her bleeding. 6-7 "When the days for her purification for either a boy or a girl are complete, she will bring a yearling lamb for a Whole-Burnt-Offering and a pigeon or dove for an Absolution-Offering to the priest at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. He will offer it to God and make atonement for her. She is then clean from her flow of blood.
"These are the instructions for a woman who gives birth to either a boy or a girl.
8 "If she can't afford a lamb, she can bring two doves or two pigeons, one for the Whole-Burnt-Offering and one for the Absolution-Offering. The priest will make atonement for her and she will be clean."
Mark 5:21-43 (The Message)
A Risk of Faith
21-24After Jesus crossed over by boat, a large crowd met him at the seaside. One of the meeting-place leaders named Jairus came. When he saw Jesus, he fell to his knees, beside himself as he begged, "My dear daughter is at death's door. Come and lay hands on her so she will get well and live." Jesus went with him, the whole crowd tagging along, pushing and jostling him.
25-29A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years—a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, "If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well." The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.
30At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, "Who touched my robe?"
31His disciples said, "What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you're asking, 'Who touched me?' Dozens have touched you!"
32-33But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.
34Jesus said to her, "Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague."
35While he was still talking, some people came from the leader's house and told him, "Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?"
36Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, "Don't listen to them; just trust me."
37-40He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. They entered the leader's house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: "Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn't dead; she's sleeping." Provoked to sarcasm, they told him he didn't know what he was talking about.
40-43But when he had sent them all out, he took the child's father and mother, along with his companions, and entered the child's room. He clasped the girl's hand and said, "Talitha koum," which means, "Little girl, get up." At that, she was up and walking around! This girl was twelve years of age. They, of course, were all beside themselves with joy. He gave them strict orders that no one was to know what had taken place in that room. Then he said, "Give her something to eat."
Psalm 38:1-22 (The Message)
A David Psalm1-2 Take a deep breath, God; calm down— don't be so hasty with your punishing rod.
Your sharp-pointed arrows of rebuke draw blood;
my backside smarts from your caning.
3-4 I've lost twenty pounds in two months
because of your accusation.
My bones are brittle as dry sticks
because of my sin.
I'm swamped by my bad behavior,
collapsed under gunnysacks of guilt.
5-8 The cuts in my flesh stink and grow maggots
because I've lived so badly.
And now I'm flat on my face
feeling sorry for myself morning to night.
All my insides are on fire,
my body is a wreck.
I'm on my last legs; I've had it—
my life is a vomit of groans.
9-16 Lord, my longings are sitting in plain sight,
my groans an old story to you.
My heart's about to break;
I'm a burned-out case.
Cataracts blind me to God and good;
old friends avoid me like the plague.
My cousins never visit,
my neighbors stab me in the back.
My competitors blacken my name,
devoutly they pray for my ruin.
But I'm deaf and mute to it all,
ears shut, mouth shut.
I don't hear a word they say,
don't speak a word in response.
What I do, God, is wait for you,
wait for my Lord, my God—you will answer!
I wait and pray so they won't laugh me off,
won't smugly strut off when I stumble.
17-20 I'm on the edge of losing it—
the pain in my gut keeps burning.
I'm ready to tell my story of failure,
I'm no longer smug in my sin.
My enemies are alive and in action,
a lynch mob after my neck.
I give out good and get back evil
from God-haters who can't stand a God-lover.
21-22 Don't dump me, God;
my God, don't stand me up.
Hurry and help me;
I want some wide-open space in my life!
Proverbs 10:8-9 (The Message)
8 A wise heart takes orders;
an empty head will come unglued.
9 Honesty lives confident and carefree,
but Shifty is sure to be exposed.
Verse of the Day
“In the Law there are many commands, such as, "Be faithful in marriage. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not want what belongs to others." But all of these are summed up in the command that says, "Love others as much as you love yourself." No one who loves others will harm them. So love is all that the Law demands.” - Romans 13:9-10
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.
American business magnate, animator, cartoonist, producer, director, screenwriter, entrepreneur, and voice actor, Walt Disney wrote, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”