• Benjamin

May 12th Weekly Meditation

"Then Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and sending it away into the wilderness by means of someone designated for the task." (Leviticus 16:21)

    Do you know why we call it a "scapegoat?" Because it is the goat that escapes.

    The ritual called for two goats. The first is sacrificed. The second takes on all of the iniquities, transgressions and sins of the people from the past year and is sent out into the wilderness as an offering to Azazel, which means "fierce god," who inhabits the wilderness (according to the New Interpreter's Bible). So the goat with the sins of the people who gets sent out into the wilderness where it will most surely die is the goat that escapes.

    I should note here that all of this is the result of a very old misreading of the Hebrew text. They never thought of this goat as the one who escapes, but the misreading has endured. Today, the scapegoat is the one who gets blamed for our problems. They would probably like to escape.

    We like blaming others for our problems. Surely it's someone else's fault I don't have a job, or my health is suffering, or my kid isn't the star of the team. Like the goat itself, our scapegoats are often less powerful so that we can heap our scorn and anger upon them without fear.

    However, in the case of that original, misread scapegoat, you will notice that nothing was the goat's fault. The process began with confession; with the people acknowledging and owning up to their own iniquities, transgressions and sins. The whole event took place on the Hebrew Day of Atonement, ten days after the start of the new year each fall. Those ten days are spent reflecting on the last year and seeking forgiveness from anyone you have wronged. The scapegoat is a symbol of a new, fresh beginning.

    Perhaps that should inform our scapegoating today. Instead of blaming others for all our troubles, we should look inward at our own iniquities, transgressions and sins and seek forgiveness. This gives us the opportunity for a new, fresh start. Perhaps it will even help us overcome some of our troubles. The best thing is that we can do all that, and no goat is required.

Wednesday Zoom Check-in, 7pm

If you would like to join in, send me an email letting me know and I will send you the link.

Worship This Week

Facebook Live, Sunday, 10am.

Be The Church: We are evangelists!

Also available on our new and improved website

Keep In Prayer:

Healthcare workers, essential workers, and everyone affected by this crisis

Our shut-ins: Harriett Ryerson, Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

January 18th Weekly Meditation

I offer this a day earlier than usual in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day Weekly Meditation Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth...Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be cal

January 5th Meditation

Weekly Meditation Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? - Isaiah 43:18 In the fall of 1989, the

December 15th Meditation

So this is Christmas And what have you done? Another year over And a new one just begun. (John Lennon) In an online class I took this past fall one of the topics we discussed were thresholds. Thresho

Contact Us

Address:  29 Chapel St., Monroeville, OH 44847

Phone: (419) 465-2165

Email: pastorwayne@monroevilleucc.org

  • Facebook

© 2020 by Benjamin Renwand  ( Renwand117@gmail.com)