Hebrews 9:11-14 (NRSV)
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Verse 11But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), Verse 12he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. Verse 13For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, Verse 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!
The Red Cross calls my spouse regularly asking for his blood. Not only does he have a helpful blood type, but he also has what the staff refer to as “baby blood,” meaning that his blood is negative for the antibodies of a common virus called CMV. The blood that he donates is used for babies who need transfusions but who would be harmed by the presence of CMV antibodies. These “calls for blood” remind me how fragile our bodies are and how much we need community not only to survive, but to live. As Christians we believe that the Holy Spirit brings us into the specific community of the church, one that is centered on Christ’s gift to us on the cross: his broken body and shed blood. And yet, our savior overcame death with the miracle of resurrection. We worship the living God when we commune together and hear the words of promise: this is for you.
Living God, thank you for your gift of life. We pray for the wellbeing of all living things and for the earth you made. We pray for an end to hunger, violence, bloodshed, and injustice. Have mercy on us, O God, and guide us in your ways of reconciliation and abundant life. Amen.