Week 23 Monday

Space For Worship

Today’s scripture selection: Exodus 37-40

Key verses: Exodus 40:1-2

     “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month.’”

     When God instructed Moses on setting up a place for worship – a tent of meeting – for His people in the wilderness, he gave very specific instructions.

     They were all there – specifically designed for a holy purpose – the altar of burnt offering; the priestly garments; and the Ark of the Covenant – that thing that caused all the drama in that “Indiana Jones” movie.

     Nothing was thrown together and nothing was superfluous.  It was all beautifully designed and absolutely necessary.  And caring for it all, just as God intended, was literally a matter of life and death.

     In contrast, I think about how often we can be tempted to just sort of “squeeze God in” wherever and whenever we have a free moment: a little Bible study here; a little prayer on the go there.  It hardly qualifies as a meeting place, much less a holy sanctuary.

     I think Moses would have found it odd to witness people scurrying around saying that “if they have time” they would get together for a little “God-time.”  In fact, he probably wouldn’t have just found it to be odd.  He probably would have called it an “abomination”.  There’s a good old fashioned Bible word for you.

     We probably aren’t able to build a portable tabernacle in which to meet God.  It’s probably not even necessary these days.

     But meeting the God who knows and loves you – regularly, quietly, formally or otherwise – is important.  It’s still literally a matter of life and death, spiritually speaking.

     So, find your “tent of meeting” place today.  You may just find God waiting there for you when you arrive.

Prayer: Eternal, Holy God, lead me to You – in prayer, in study, in service – to meet with You in holy worship.  AMEN.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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