I picked up some of the bacon and cheese “Bubba burgers” last week when I was grocery shopping. On Sunday, we had communion in church and that consisted of the usual cracker pieces and a small portion of juice. Bubba Burgers, saltines and grape juice can all be easily purchased at Giant or even through Amazon, so in and of themselves, they are not particularly “holy” foods. The crackers and juice served a completely different purpose though than the Bubba burgers will, didn’t they?
While the items are, on the one hand, really all just food, their usage distinguishes them and makes them different. I thought of the Bubba burgers today when reading about the “meat” burnt offerings and grain offerings in the first couple of chapters in Leviticus. Instruction was clearly given as to what to bring for these offerings. What happened to these every day food offerings after they were presented as offerings, though, altered them. The meat offerings were burnt and said to be a “pleasing aroma” to God. Does this mean all meat when it is on the barbecue is a pleasing aroma to God too? I don’t think so. The “pleasing” part came in the heart that willingly gave the everyday food to God, recognizing the need for forgiveness in some area and cleansing. It was the offering of a willing repentant heart recognizing a need to be changed.
Offerings are such a foreign concept to us really but the New Testament can help us. References in the New Testament about offerings change it from meats and grains, to much more personal things. In Philippians, Paul speaks of his life as being “poured out like a drink offering”-Paul’s life was given as an offering. 1 Peter 2:5 says as believers we can now offer “spiritual sacrifices”-so not grain and meat, but spiritual sacrifices that please the Lord. And of course in Romans 12 we are told to present our bodies as a “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
We have no altar, and don’t need to burn Bubba burgers or saltines as offerings to God. But that doesn’t mean we are unable to still make choices as offerings that please God, that are a “sweet aroma” to Him. We can and should be doing these things. Somehow, there are ways, that our everyday lives, the most common pieces of our lives, can be used in a way and offered to God that change them from ordinary to a service for God and pleasing to Him. Such modern day offerings might include the way we do or do not use our bodies. It might also include actions we take that are spiritual in nature like a spiritual discipline we commit to. That would be a pleasing aroma and become an offering to God. Maybe we are called to take one path in life instead of another because of where we see God leading, instead of just our desires. Offerings require a sacrifice of some sort. A willing giving of something to God out of our love for Him and desire to change our ways and/or repent of sin. Consider today if you and I have made any offerings to God lately or if perhaps He is calling us to do so. Our sins are already all forgiven as believers, but if we want our lives to be pleasing to the Lord and a sweet aroma, I suspect offerings and sacrifices in life will still be involved for the rest of our lives.