Scripture reference: Leviticus 6:8-13
The COVID -19 pandemic has not only brought with it suffering to our people, but it has in way enriched a number of families who took the opportunity of the lockdown to revive their family altar. Families shared with us how they spent time together praying and reading God's word-some even confessed to having organized a complete worship service in their homes. This must be the new norm for every family even in the post COVID season.
Our scripture reference reminds us of a time in the history of the nation of Israel when God commanded the priests through His servant Moses on the regulations for the burnt offering. Three times, God repeatedly gave the instruction that, ‘’the fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must never go out!’’(Lev 6:9b, 12a, 13).The repetition clearly shows how important this was. Fire was an emblem of worship, which connected the people with God through their acts of worship such as prayers of penitence and thanksgiving. The Lord would descend on the altar to communion with His people, but in the New Testament dispensation, God dwells in the hearts of His people.
To sustain the fire at the altar, the priests were supposed to do two things;
1. Remove the ashes-(Lev 6:10), ‘’…he must clean out the ashes of the burnt offering and put them beside the altar.’’
2. Refill the altar with fresh firewood-(Lev 6:12b), ‘’ each morning, the priest will add fresh wood to the fire and arrange the burnt offering on it.’’.
Too much accumulation of ashes and failure to add fresh firewood would only do one thing; quench the fire. The altar today is our hearts, and the fire is the presence God. The ashes represent our sins,which we must never allow to accumulate. Sin must be removed by way of confession and repentance, and then refill with much prayer and reading of God’s word. This will help in sustaining not only our personal alter, but the family alter too.
We encourage you dear Christians to maintain the altar of God in your life, through fervent prayer and study of God’s Word