Monday, January 24, 2011

Exodus 23-28

This passage is largely about the instructions for the building of the Ark of the Covenant, the Tabernacle and the garments for the Priests.  What do you think we should take away from these passages?  I think one thing is that God cares about the details.  What is being done in the construction of these items is being done as unto God.  We are not to be lackadaisical about how we approach God or that which has been consecrated to him.  You can also see in these passages where many of the traditions of the church have their beginning and why churches for thousands of years have been highly ornamented with the finest etchings, paintings, stain glass, altars and such.  These are our modern tabernacles, places where we expect to find God.  The Holy of Holies which is still found in many Orthodox churches created a separation between God and his Holiness and the people.  We know that that separation has been destroyed by Christ's work on the cross, but it has its origins in Israel's response to God on the mountain at Sinai when they feared God's presence and sent Moses to represent them.  God responds with this model for separation.  The robes that Priests and Pastor (and me occasionally) have their origin in this passage as God instructs the people in manufacturing the garments that the priest will wear.

I guess one of my impressions is this, God is Holy and is to be revered.  We can do that with our attitude.  I know that God is everywhere, but some places (church) are consecrated to him and are set apart in a special way.....they are Holy Ground and we reserve a special reverence for those places which call us to care for them in special ways.  We should bring our best to honor God, that is what his instructions were to Israel as he instructed them in the building of the tabernacle; as he called for the finest of leather, gold & silver, wood and other materials.  I think of those people at Faith who care for the grounds and the flowers and the altar and I am reminded that they serve God in their tending.  We don't want our church to be a place of fear, but we do want it to be a place that makes it easy to enter into the presence, where our eyes, our hearts and our thoughts are drawn to our Creator and our God who is the author of our salvation, our deliverance from the law of sin and death.

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