My Name is Keevah

[Wade Grocott lives in Caronport, owns a house in Moose Jaw, and works in Regina. He loves his wife Richelle, and enjoys photography, books and surfing. He is trying to slow down just a bit this Advent but can’t make any promises on that.]

My name is Keevah, I am 10 years old.  I live just outside of Jerusalem.

I play with my friends, help out with my parents’ farm sometimes, go to the Temple, learn the Torah.  You know, regular kid stuff.

I am also training to be a priest, one of the people who work in the Temple.  I love it there.  There is so much happening, so many people, animals and things going on.

We hear the scriptures, we sing, we worship.  And we give offerings.

Everyone I know does these things. They offer grain, money, and animals.  Lots of animals – birds, bulls, and lambs.  They are sacrificed.  Killed.  We kill them as part of our worship of God.  He told us to do this a long time ago to our great, great, great, well you get it, grandparents.  All the animals have to be the best, nothing wrong with them, no marks on their bodies. We kill these animals, especially the lambs, so that we can cover the bad things we have done.  My parents and teachers tell me that God says we need to do this so that we can be made right with Him.  I don’t understand all of it exactly, but He says we need to do this because we sin, and this sacrifice somehow fixes that, at least for a while.

Once a year there is an extremely important day where the highest priest of all the people offers a very special sacrifice.  This one day is called the Day of Atonement.  The priest goes into the most inner part of the temple, where my parents say God is, and he offers this special sacrifice – it takes away all the sins the people have done throughout the year.  We wait outside while the priest does what he has to do.  We are so nervous, and we are excited at the same time.  If the priest does everything right, our sins are taken care of for another year, we are made right with God, all of us who follow him.

When the priest comes out everyone cheers, they are so happy!  I am happy too, because I want my sins to be taken away.  I want to be clean.  I want to be right with God.

I like being one of God’s chosen people to do His special work of helping people come to Him, but something kind of bugs me.

I watch the priests do their work, a huge part of it is the sacrificing of animals, they kill a lot of animals!  Aside from the Day of Atonement, people bring sacrifices every day, for sins, for worship.  All day, every day, the priests sacrifice animals.  You can imagine by the end of the day what they look like.  Their clothes are covered in animal blood, and they are very tired.  They go to bed at night knowing the next day will be the same, and the next day after that.

Sometimes I wonder why God didn’t plan a better way.  All this killing, and it doesn’t really take away the sins, it kind of pays for them for a while, but we have to keep doing it, and we keep sinning! It never stops. We have been doing this for hundreds of years, day in and day out, and we’ll probably be doing it for hundreds more.

When I pray, sometimes I ask God if this is how He wants it.  Does He want us to just keep doing these sacrifices forever?  Keep killing animals to try and fix our sins? Could He make another way that could take away our sins, that could make us right with Him?  Maybe He could come up with a sacrifice once and for all that would last forever.  Wouldn’t that be great!  One perfect sacrifice for everyone, and then it is all done!  I don’t know how that would work.

That would have to be one special lamb.

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