Speaking Of Life 2006 | Our Tabernacle
As the Israelites made their way through the desert, the center of their lives was the tabernacle. This large tent, put together by strict guidelines, held the holy of holies—the center of God’s presence on earth. Here the power and holiness was evident to all with a presence so strong only the High Priest was allowed to enter.
The tabernacle would have been in the corner of your eye all the time as an Israelite. It was a constant reminder that God himself was present with his beloved children. For centuries, the tabernacle was among the people until it was superseded by the temple. The temple became the holy place until Jesus came.
The prologue to the book of John tells us:
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” ( )
This phrase is literally translated as: “the word became flesh and tabernacled among us.”
Now the presence of God is tabernacled among us – no longer in a building, but in the person of Jesus. Suddenly God is dwelling among us. He moved into our neighborhood. The elaborate rituals of the old days in which people had to become ritually clean to enter Gods presence are now a vestige of the past. The curtain is torn, and the holiness of God is among us rather than far within the sanctum of a temple.
What does this mean for us? What does it mean that we don’t have to go to a building to meet with God, but that he has come out to meet us?
The crux of the change here is from religion to relationship. Jesus took that first step to us and now is quite literally Immanuel—God with us.
As God’s people, we are at home and in exile at the same time. We wander like those in the desert, knowing that our true home is in Heaven. And yet God is tabernacled among us. God has made his home with us.
For the moment, our nation and our home is first of all here, with God’s people. More than structures or churches or theological constructs, Jesus is tabernacled with us. He left his home to make his home with us and in us. This is the gift of Incarnation – God became one of us – the creator becoming part of his creation – God dwelling in us today and for eternity.
May his presence fill you with his hope, his peace, his joy, and his love.
I am Greg Williams, Speaking of Life.