Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Tabernacle of God

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. -- Revelation 21:3 (KJV)
The tabernacle of God is with us.  The tabernacle of God is with us.  Think about that.  The tabernacle was the ancient tent reserved as the Israelite's home for God.  Inside it was the Ark of the Covenant and a huge array of fixtures, furniture, and objects - many made of gold - that were all singularly aimed at directing the attention of all who entered to one place: the worship of Yahweh.  When the nomadic 12 tribes of Israel moved the tabernacle came down and went with them; in their new location it was set up in the center of their midst.  God dwelt among them.

The tabernacle of God is with us.  In this new day, in this new year following the observance of the Christ entering into the center of our midst, the tabernacle is with us.  The Christ Child has come, He has entered our hearts and He has set up the tabernacle of God within us.  He will dwell with us.  We shall be His people, and God - true God of True God shall be with us: center stage, in our midst.  Come to this revelation and realize He is born within you.  Ponder that for several minutes in silence - God has set up the ancient tabernacle within you.

In the liturgies of The Church the "Gloria Patri" has been a hymn of praise and adoration for hundreds and hundreds of years.  For many centuries it was included within every worship service held in the church.  More recently, due to sensitivities about sexism and inclusive language, the hymn has fallen out of favor; but, few concisely worded hymns glorify the amazing wonder of God loving us enough to actually want to dwell in the center of lives better than the Gloria Patri.  They are words that have passed the lips of untold millions of people through the ages; they are words I learned by heart as a small child; they are words appropriate for today to acknowledge the central place in our lives for God.  Let these be our prayer and song with which we remind ourselves of God-with- us today:
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now and forever shall be;
World without end.  Amen.  Amen. 

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