A reading from the book of Exodus
“When Moses came to the people and related all the words and ordinances of the Lord, they all answered with one voice, ‘We will do everything that the Lord has told us.’ Moses then wrote down all the words of the Lord, and rising early the next day, he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Animal sacrifice was common among ancient religions, including Judaism. As strange as it seems to us, it was a major step away from human sacrifice which some of Israel’s neighbors practiced. The sprinkling of the blood of animals was a sign of Israel’s fidelity to the Covenant and so was called the “blood of the covenant.” It was also seen as a cleansing and an act of forgiveness from God to his people.
“I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.” We certainly call upon the name of the Lord, usually in time of need, but how about in thanksgiving for all God gives us?