Some people call the table in the front of the church an altar.
In ancient Israel the blood of a freshly slaughtered bull would be sprinkled on the altar as a means of atoning for the sins of individuals and communities, so they might again become one with God. Sacrifices were also viewed as necessary to satisfy kings and the King. Necessary to pay the price for the error of our ways. We see the idea of sacrifices even today in parking fines and in jail time.
But we have no need for an altar. For we trust that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient and fully satisfies all of the sacrifices specified in the Old Testament.
What then do we call that table between the pulpit and the lectern upon which we celebrate the Lord’s Super?
I like calling it an ALTER table, for we come to this table to be altered in our lives and in our living. We gather before this table for an hour once a week to redeem and reconcile the remaining 167 hours each week, so the whole of our lives might be focused on building the Kingdom of God and thereby glorifying God.
I will have more to say about Isaiah 1:10-20 on Sunday, August 7th, 2016 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Robert Shaw, Pastor