Leviticus has never been my favorite book of the Bible. I am beginning to wonder if that’s because I never gave it a chance. Today’s first lectionary reading (www.usccb.org) is LV 19: 1-2, 11-18. The two introductory verses are a call from God through Moses about holiness. It’s easy for me to read those two verses and say something like, “Okay, that’s easy. It’s an often repeated theme” and then read the rest, i.e. the explicit content of the message, while allowing my mind to start a list of tasks for the day.
While I could probably guess most of what follows and be done with it, today I paid more attention and saw something old yet new to my consciousness. The key was in verse two which is not only God’s command for people to “be holy” but also gives the reason why they should make that the basis of all their actions: “for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.”
After that instruction, everything talks about things we should not do or be with or to other people: stealing, slandering, cheating, cursing, judging unjustly, hating & holding grudges. The reason, however, for all these strictures, is simply repeated at the end of each paragraph: “I am the Lord.”
My conclusion, then, about all of this is clear. What we do to others, we do to God. This leads me to a place that is fast becoming the most essential truth for me: We are all one – really and truly, all one. It means you are me and I am you and the reason and reality is because God is God.
The words on the page don’t seem revolutionary because I have heard them all before. In my heart, however, and hopefully in my life, I know them to be true in a new way that cannot (at least by me at this moment) be explained in any other way. And so I leave us all with what is.