Friday, April 11, 2014

Shabbat Thought :: Parasha Achrei Mot

Each week in the Synagogue, a different portion of scripture is studied.  The Torah (Old Testament) is broken into portions which are read over the course of a year.  At the end of the year, it starts over again so the Bible is read annually. 

This week's Parasha is Achrei Mot from Leviticus 16:1-18:30.

This week's parasha is a tough one. Once you get through a bunch of passages about blood, there is the touchy passage about sexual relations. There is one sentence (Lev. 18:22 - homosexuality) that is a hot topic these days. I'm tempted to ignore it, or just gloss over this week's portion, focus on something else. But this is what's coming out of me this morning.

First of all, the latter half (Lev. 18:1-23) of the Parasha is focused on sexuality. There is a list of "shall nots" from prohibiting sexual relationships among family, to not offering up your children to Molech, to same-sex relationships. 

Thus, having read this, I would have to determine that God told the Israelites that same-sex relationships are not okay. Actually, the word used is abomination. It's a hard thing to grapple with for me. I try really hard to align myself with God's Word. I understand that marriage was ideally intended for a man and a woman, joined together, they create a whole.

And then, though, there are people. People struggling to make it in the world. People struggling to love and be loved. People who find representations of God in people. And these same-sex people get married. Legally. There are people who I connect with on many levels, people who have children that love my children, there are people who believe that this sort of love works.

Even though I may not agree, I take a step back and wonder. How do we deal with each other in this? Love must conquer. We must lean on God and pray for understanding. So as for me, I struggle and believe that God tells us many seemingly contradictory things. The Bible tells us not to have same-sex sex. But the Bible tells us to love one another, too. 

How do I deal with this issue? I love the way Jen Hatmaker does. She keeps her beliefs close to her, and errs on the side of love. When I meet homosexual couples, I enjoy their company. I don't judge. I teach my children my beliefs and why. In my post on love for Valentine's Day, I wrote, 
I still am not sure I understand how to love people while believing that what they are doing is wrong, without compromising truth. But this passage encourages me, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known." (1 Corinthians 13:12 TLV) I don't have to know! I know that love is the greatest. I need to follow the example Yeshua put before us, and love others. Meanwhile, I'll trust God for the rest.

I think we see these things dimly, and one day our God will explain it all to us, and we will understand. 

But now these three remain— faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.(1 Corinthians 13:13 TLV)

Shabbat Shalom dear ones! May you be blessed abundantly with God's peace!

No comments:

Post a Comment