The Brightness of God

Day 66

Numbers 8:1‐9:23; Mark 13:14‐37; Psalm 50:1‐23; Proverbs 10:29‐30

The Brightness of God

As I reflect on the passages from Numbers, Mark, and Psalms, I am aware of the recurring references to light. These references call to mind a hymn by Kathleen Thomerson, the text of which begins “I want to walk as a child of the light.” The hymn text makes many references to glories of light including the “brightness of God” and “the Lamb is the light of the city of God.”

In the passage from the Book of Numbers, Aaron is instructed to place lamps before a lavishly beautiful lampstand of hammered gold. Light, the first element to appear above a dark and formless void in the Genesis account of creation, was given an exalted place. The three concluding verses of the selection from Mark’s Gospel warn us to be awake at the moment of the Second Coming, that we may not be caught without light as were the foolish virgins in Matthew’s account of the Parable of the Ten Virgins. In like manner, Psalm 50 tells us that “The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.”

We become so accustomed to having light available almost daily from the sun or at the flick of a switch by night, that it is easy to overlook that it is a precious gift from God – a crucial part of our existence and a building block of life itself.

Randall B. Krum
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Lake Mary, FL

About Offerings

Day 65

Numbers 6:1-7:89; Mark 12:38-13:13; Psalm 49:1-20; Proverbs 10:27-28

About Offerings

As we read through chapter 7 in Numbers, it soon becomes obvious that each tribe presented the exact same lavish offering for the dedication of the altar after Moses had finished setting up and anointing the tabernacle. This was according to the command of the Lord in verse 11: “The Lord said to Moses: They shall present their offerings, one leader each day, for the dedication of the altar.”

Those offerings were important. The Levites who served at the tabernacle altar had no resources except the offerings of the people. The spread of Christ’s Kingdom on the earth today is dependent on the offerings of His followers as well.  But, in His discourse with His disciples as He observes people putting coins into the temple treasury in Jerusalem (Mark 12:41-44), Jesus gives us a window into God’s way of measuring the true value of an offering.

As He extols the poor widow’s truly sacrificial gift, Jesus reminds us that we must, first and foremost, offer ourselves – all that we are and have –  to God. The widow understood that God was the ultimate source of all that she needed to sustain her life. That same understanding will give us the power to bring our tithes and offerings joyfully with gratitude to God for His gifts of life and salvation, and His presence with us.

Janice Miller
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Lake Mary, FL

A Call for Full Contact Worship

Day 64

Numbers 4:1-5:31; Mark 12:18-37; Psalm 48:1-14; Proverbs 10:26

A Call for Full Contact Worship

If worship were a sport, it would be “full contact.” It involves all the senses, which is why Numbers talks about fragrant incense and holy oil and holy water. It’s also why Numbers insists you can’t claim to love God with your mind, but another person’s spouse with your body.

Because worship is “full contact,” it means affirming Jesus, loving all of God with all of what you are – and loving your neighbor as yourself. Because worship is “full contact,” the Psalmist could point to God’s beautiful city and say, “Walk about Zion … count her towers” (48:12). The earthly city of Jerusalem embodied a promise that one day there will be a new heavens and a new earth, and its jewel will be a New Jerusalem.

Worship is “full contact” because God has made full contact with us by sending His Son in our very flesh – a promise that by His life, death, resurrection, ascension, and return, He will make “all things new.”

In the meantime, the charge for us is to heed today’s proverb: we’ve been sent to live and tell the story of God’s resolve to reclaim the whole of His creation. This is not a day for drawing back, but for trusting that the One who sends us will go before us.

Dr. Reggie Kidd
Reformed Theological Seminary
Orlando, FL