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If you ask Christians for their favorite book of the Bible, hardly anyone is going to answer, “Leviticus.” (I do know one guy at our church who loved Leviticus—he called it “The Book of Enchantment,” though we could never figure out why—but he was probably the only one.) The book of Leviticus can seem downright strange to us. It’s got a lot of odd rules that don’t always make sense. It’s often tough to get through: more Bible Reading Plans have shipwrecked on the shoals of Leviticus than perhaps any other book of the Bible.

But if we just skip over all the ceremonies and rituals and rules, we would miss one of the clearest images of Jesus in the entire Old Testament. Right in the center of Leviticus, in chapter 16, is a ceremony the Jewish people held to be more holy and crucial than any other—a day so thick with meaning and sacredness that they simply called it, “Yoma” … “The Day.”

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Wisdom For Your Weekend: your weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Video of the Week

How Political Should a Local Church Pastor Get with His Flock? Russell Moore. As we creep closer to a November election, the question begins to come up more often: just how much should pastors be addressing politics? As we often say, the gospel changes everything, and that includes our approach to politics. There’s a balance to maintain here: we need to be clear where the Bible is clear, and allow for disagreement where the Bible is not. Moore has been a great model for evangelicals in this. His words here are incredibly wise and helpful.

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Plumb lines are a series of short, pithy statements that we, at the Summit, use as rallying points—both for our staff and for the entire church. They are a way to encapsulate our ministry philosophy in short, memorable phrases.

Plumb Line #9 at the Summit is: “The Church should reflect the diversity of its community and proclaim the diversity of the kingdom.”

Hardly anyone in the American church thinks that ethnic diversity is a bad thing. And yet, take a look at most of our churches, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous criticism still has some bite to it: “Eleven o’clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America.” A mild desire to see diversity isn’t going to create multi-ethnic diversity in our churches. For diversity to truly take hold, it takes intentionality.

One of our African American pastors, Chris Green, has summarized the process of a church becoming multi-ethnic in a helpful spectrum:

IGNORANCE – AWARENESS – INTERACTION – GOSPELIZED COMMUNITY

We all start on the left, with ignorance. Most of us grow up around people like us, we work with people like us, and we socialize with people like us. We aren’t willfully hateful, but we simply don’t know much about people from different backgrounds. So we—especially those of us in the majority culture—fill in the gaps with presuppositions and stereotypes. We assume that “black people” or “Hispanic people” all think, act, or feel a certain way.

Admitting our ignorance leads us to the next step along the spectrum—awareness. Perhaps we watch something on the news, or make a new friend, or have some personal experience that forces us to recognize cultural differences. Awareness is unsettling, because it challenges a lot of what we assumed was simply “normal.”

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