Exodus 26:1-27:21; Matthew 25:1-30; Psalm 31:1-8; Proverbs 8:1-11
At this point in Exodus, the temptation is always to skip it. Skip all these specific directions about how to make the tabernacle. Keep reading. Try to picture what it might have looked like to make even one component of this structure. If you are not a visual person, try it anyway. If you have never been crafty, not handy with tools or following directions, step out of your comfort zone and try to sketch what God says “shall” be made.
These are specific directions from God. God does not say, “This is one way you could do it.” God says, “You shall make it just like I tell you to make it.” When we follow God’s commandments, especially God’s directions delivered to us in the words of Jesus, we will be ready for anything.
Creating the tabernacle in exactly the manner that God prescribed got the Israelites ready to be the light to the nations, to bring the One True God before the peoples of the earth.
The parables in Matthew’s gospel all insist that we listen to the master and wait prepared for the bridegroom—not only to avoid bad things happening to us, like being thrown into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth—but so we are prepared to be part of the fabulous glory that God wants for all people to be a part of in this world.
The tabernacle was a sight to behold! It was excellent and beautiful. So too our lives should be sights to behold, excellent and beautiful, prepared and faithful. Our psalms cry out to God, we implore God to listen to our distress. God keeps listening. Let us keep reading, even when it seems tedious.
The Rev. Alison P. Harrity
St. Richard’s Church
Winter Park, FL