In this passage from Numbers we are told again how the Israelites were to celebrate some of the holidays that God had placed in their calendar. The precise instructions given would allow the people to put aside their normal workday practice and it would focus their minds on the Lord. It would be a break from their daily routine and allow them time to concentrate on what God was asking of them.
Of course, today we no longer must prepare burnt offerings to show our commitment, but there are things that we should be doing. The Bible tells us how important it is to set time aside to meet up with other believers and worship the Lord. It gives us the time to pray and repent and prepare ourselves for the week to come. Our worship can be in celebration of all the Lord has done and all that is in store. It is also a time for stillness and quiet in a safe place, where we can open our hearts and know that we are in a loving relationship with our Father in heaven.
Our offering to God is ourselves – so that God can do with us as he pleases. Ceremonies and rituals are reminders of our faith and they are how we can teach and welcome new members of the family, but they are not just for show – we must understand what we are committing ourselves to and not just go through the motions but believe it!
Today our church no longer uses the OT rituals as Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. Now we remember him with our service of baptism and the taking of communion. Jesus describes how to take communion and most churches do have a format they follow but it may vary in some churches. We should do as instructed in 1 Corinthians 14:40 “...everything should be done in a fitting and orderly manner” . It is also not the location of the worship that is important, but the attitude we have when we worship. Let our “ritual” be that we step away from our worldly life to celebrate our spiritual life – in the hectic world that we now live in, it is so important that we switch off from the distraction of temptation and sin and gather together to spend time and bathe in the love of our God.
Do you have a “ritual”? Is there a time when you get to have a one-on-one relationship with the Lord? Pray that you find that time – it will be time well spent!