Here we have a couple different things worth discussing.
First of all, the restrictions on priests serving specific roles. It seems harsh to exclude some from serving for being disabled. But it isn’t a judgment against them personally, it is an emphasis on God’s perfection, his perfect wholeness. It also serves as a reminder that, even if some of us are physically whole and acceptable as priests, only one could ever be truly whole and sufficient.
Secondly, there is an outlining of the feasts the Israelites were to observe.
The Sabbath, the day of rest. This is a holy day every week. It was set aside from the very beginning. It is a rest from work as well as a moment to settle into the presence of God. (Something I learned from the Bible Project today.)
The Passover, the feast of deliverance, of freedom. But, you know, still a day of fear and death. This one has always seemed… deeply complex to me. A celebration, yes, but so much more than that. Deliverance wasn’t without cost.
First Fruits, the feast of gratitude for God’s provision. He keeps his promises.
The Feast of Weeks, another feast celebrating the harvest, the fullness of his provision.
The Feast of Trumpets, the new year. A time of reflection and repentance before the Day of Atonement.
The Day of Atonement, the sacrifice of cleansing, making things right with God.
The Feast of Booths, celebrating God’s protection and presence among the people in the wilderness. Used as a reminder that life in this world is temporary, and we are all sojourners.
Repentance. Atonement. Protection. Deliverance. Provision. Seriously, he provides. And always resting, settling into his presence.
These are all reminders we would do well to hold onto still today.