• 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

Recent Posts

See All

October 20th Weekly Meditation

Weekly Meditation "Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:58)

October 13th Weekly Meditation

Weekly Meditation "Just then there came a man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus' feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old,

October 6th Weekly Meditation

"And let people learn to devote themselves to good works in order to meet urgent needs..." (Titus 3:14) It has been an interesting past two weeks for my family and I. As you likely know, our oldest da

Contact Us

Address:  29 Chapel St., Monroeville, OH 44847

Phone: (419) 465-2165

Email: pastorwayne@monroevilleucc.org

  • Facebook - White Circle

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