Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Month of Living Levitically

By Daniel Harrell

Whenever I've mentioned to folks my plan to preach the book of Leviticus during the winter,
there have been no shortage of puzzled looks. Sure, Leviticus is in the Bible, but didn't Jesus render it dispensable? What relevance could Leviticus possibly have to my life now? We're done with animal sacrifice and the whole cleanliness code, aren't we?

True confession: I've never studied Leviticus. I've only skimmed it as part of those read-through-the-Bible -in-a-year plans (though admittedly it's the place I usually get stuck in my reading through the Bible in a year). I get why Leviticus is part of the Hebrew scriptures, but do Christians need to heed it? What if God does intend us to obey it? He definitely intends that we obey parts of it. After all, Jesus taught the second greatest commandment to be "love your neighbor as yourself." That comes from Leviticus 19:18. What if there are other parts of Leviticus that are just as important?

Inspired by A. J. Jacobs' book The Year of Living Living Biblically, I've decided to find out. I've decided to try a month of living Levitically to coincide with my sermon series. You know, sort of a "living theology," just to see what happens. Walter Kim is going to join me. Are any of you interested in trying it too?

We're looking for ten people to be Levitical guinea pigs with us. We want to not only try to live by Leviticus (albeit interpreted through a 21st century Christian grid), but document it here on this blog too. Check out the Park Street Church website for details and watch this blog for updates on how the whole thing is going.