Emmanuel   Leave a comment

Did you know that this “God with us” thing is covered in the book of Exodus?  I didn’t until recently.  I figured that all started when Isaiah was mentioning it in his prophecies, but it predates that.

Of course there are many passages of Scripture that show and tell us about God’s holiness and his “otherness.”  But to be fair, there are plenty of passages that emphasize his “with-us-ness.”

I had completely forgotten or never knew the significance of the tabernacle.

The tent of God was with the people in the camp, not far away or on the highest mountain they could find.  I’m thinking that’s a contrast to Mount Olympus, where the Greeks thought the gods lived.

The tent of God was portable.  It would fold down and pack up to move with the people when they needed to move or he wanted them to move.  In other words, he wasn’t going to stay in a certain land.  They didn’t have to worry about getting left behind or him leaving them behind.  He went with them.

The tent of God was furnished (and I find this very cool) with some items that were similar to what would be found in a home of the time.  The storage chest, the table, the lampstand or candle holder–all of these would be used by ordinary people.  Of course the items made for God were anything but ordinary in workmanship and appearance, but apparently they were the type of items any person would use on a regular basis.

This kind of tickled me.  I thought if updated to our modern age, God would have a smart, sporty, yet energy efficient RV.  There’d be a comfortable couch and chair in it.  And all night every night, just like the candles in the lampstand that never went out, you’d see the glow of God’s laptop or tablet inside the screen door.  He’d be showing you he’s always there and he’s always awake.

I guess I got started with that after I learned what it meant that the candles were always lit.

I had always thought of candles burning twenty-four hours a day as representing God’s eternality and I suppose in a way they do.  But more to the point of Emmanuel, they show that God is always at home.  He’s never away on business.  He’s never forgotten us.

And he’s shown us this in every way possible from a long way back.

 

~~thanks to Lisle Drury for starting my thinking on this

 

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Posted December 21, 2015 by swanatbagend in reflections, the church

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