Gathered in His Presence

October 26, 2021

Exodus 27.9-19

“Make a courtyard for the tabernacle. The south side shall be a hundred cubits long and is to have curtains of finely twisted linen, 10 with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts. 11 The north side shall also be a hundred cubits long and is to have curtains, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts.

12 “The west end of the courtyard shall be fifty cubits wide and have curtains, with ten posts and ten bases. 13 On the east end, toward the sunrise, the courtyard shall also be fifty cubits wide. 14 Curtains fifteen cubits long are to be on one side of the entrance, with three posts and three bases, 15 and curtains fifteen cubits long are to be on the other side, with three posts and three bases.

16 “For the entrance to the courtyard, provide a curtain twenty cubits long, of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen—the work of an embroiderer—with four posts and four bases. 17 All the posts around the courtyard are to have silver bands and hooks, and bronze bases. 18 The courtyard shall be a hundred cubits long and fifty cubits wide, with curtains of finely twisted linen five cubits high, and with bronze bases. 19 All the other articles used in the service of the tabernacle, whatever their function, including all the tent pegs for it and those for the courtyard, are to be of bronze.

We have seen a tabernacle and an altar for Israel.  Now we see that there is a courtyard around it.  This will be the pattern of the temple and this portion is the gathering place for people in worship.  Not everyone at once.  It doesn’t take a math genius to see that they cannot all fit at once in this area.  But it is a place where people gather, whether during the sacrifices, or just times of worship. 

We live differently now.  Many gathering places for worship.  Able to worship in the buildings of congregations, in homes, in a variety of other places that take on this function for the church in whatever our circumstances.  We see God in the places we are, not just in one central place in our midst.  Seeing him in the places where we gather and seeing him in the open places of solitude.  Seeing him in the visits to the mountains and over the fields of prairies.  Seeing him in the countryside and in the cities.  God is with us in all places and we worship where we are and as we are.

God’s presence then was already in all places.  That is not a new thing.  But we see this movement of God bringing Israel as his people and moving his people into the places of the world and grace to those places with them.  It will not just be a picture of battles and fighting.  We will see that the people are joined by others who come to be part of the nation and part of God’s people.  Quite pronounced under David, but seen in many places, including here already.  Remembering that Moses has two wives, one from Midian and one from Cush. 

God is present with us, and in all the places we may go to in our lives.  Not here because of who is with us, but because he is with us.  Not here because we keep up our part in worship or service.  Here because he calls us and brings us to him.  God is with us always.  Praise God in the places we are and in the ways he makes us able to serve and worship in this day.

SongOh the Glory of His Presence

Prayer

Lord God, the words “Jesus is King” come easily to our lips, yet we often fail to grasp the significance of what they mean for us.  In this service, help us worship you in spirit and truth, and give us a vision for how we may live in homage to you every day of our lives, through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

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