Courtyard Entrance

December 22, 2021

Exodus 38.9-20

Next they made the courtyard. The south side was a hundred cubits long and had 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 was also a hundred cubits long and had twenty posts and twenty bronze bases, with silver hooks and bands on the posts.

12 The west end was fifty cubits wide and had curtains, with ten posts and ten bases, with silver hooks and bands on the posts. 13 The east end, toward the sunrise, was also fifty cubits wide. 14 Curtains fifteen cubits long were on one side of the entrance, with three posts and three bases, 15 and curtains fifteen cubits long were on the other side of the entrance to the courtyard, with three posts and three bases. 16 All the curtains around the courtyard were of finely twisted linen. 17 The bases for the posts were bronze. The hooks and bands on the posts were silver, and their tops were overlaid with silver; so all the posts of the courtyard had silver bands.

18 The curtain for the entrance to the courtyard was made of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen—the work of an embroiderer. It was twenty cubits long and, like the curtains of the courtyard, five cubits high, 19 with four posts and four bronze bases. Their hooks and bands were silver, and their tops were overlaid with silver. 20 All the tent pegs of the tabernacle and of the surrounding courtyard were bronze.

The courtyard surrounds the tent of meeting and the inner places, such as the Most Holy place where the Ark of the Covenant is kept.  The courtyard contains the basin where water for cleansing is held and where the altar for many of the sacrifices were offered.  The courtyard is the place where all could enter and where grace begins.

The inner most parts were restricted.  They were the places where the priests went, and some for the high priest only.  They were places where they experienced the presence of God.  Places where atonement was made and where the people were brought to God.

Too many people still sit in the place of the courtyard.  Just beginning to see the grace of God.  Taking part in a piece of worship.  Seeing the work of God in the church.  Seeing the actions of God in the world from a bit of distance.  Yet not moving past the courtyard into the fuller connection we have been given.

While Jesus is on the cross the temple curtain tears in two.  The separation of the “common” people from the inner places is removed.  All are invited to experience that full presence of God in life.  We no longer need others to do the works of worship and service for us, we can take part.

Do we sit on the edge still looking in?  Are we watching from the sides to see what others experiencing God in worship and service?  Have we fully joined ourselves into the most intimate places with God in our lives?  We no longer need to be on the edge.  We are invited to take part fully in life with God.  We are able to experience God in life; in our prayers, our worship, our service.  God invites us past the courtyard and into his very presence in life today.

SongLight of the World

Prayer

Eternal God, you taught us that the night is far spent and the day is at hand.  Keep us awake and alert, watching for your kingdom, and make us strong in faith, so that when Christ comes in glory to judge the earth, we may joyfully give him praise who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

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