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CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia

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Friday 5 June
 An offering by fire

 

Read Leviticus 6:14–17
I have given it as their portion of my offerings by fire; it is most holy. (verse 17b)

Today’s passage describes the ritual of the grain offering presented by the Israelites to God as a thanksgiving for the harvest. In the ancient Israelites’ culture it was offered to God by the priests before the altar where the fire kept burning on it without being extinguished. It was the fire that played the role of a mediator for the grain offering between the priest who offered and God. The significance of this fire was that it was never blown out throughout the process of ritual which was considered holy. In the Indian context, especially the Hindu tradition, the presence of fire is considered auspicious. The Puja (worship) is clearly visible on special occasions like festivals, marriage, birth, death and so on.

People considered fire as a symbol of divine presence. Thus, fire is regarded as a holy element. In India’s Parsi culture as well, fire has been held in the highest regard. An eternal fire keeps on burning in the temple which is the sacred place of worship for the Parsi community. This fire keeps on burning on a silver urn and only the priest is allowed to enter the room where the fire burns. Only the priest offers prayers on behalf of the worshippers. Perhaps we could also say that justice sanctifies our social living like fire sanctifies sacrifices offered. If we keep the fire of justice burning within us, we make ourselves more acceptable to God as living sacrifices. Are we ready to burn with the fire of justice?

† God of fire, we pray that you set our life, family, society and nation on your fire so that everything that we contribute for your reign’s sake would be acceptable by you. Amen