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The Table and the Lampstand

You shall make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. You shall overlay it with pure gold, and make a molding of gold around it. You shall make around it a rim a handbreadth wide, and a molding of gold around the rim. You shall make for it four rings of gold, and fasten the rings to the four corners at its four legs. The rings that hold the poles used for carrying the table shall be close to the rim. You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, and the table shall be carried with these. You shall make its plates and dishes for incense, and its flagons and bowls with which to pour drink offerings; you shall make them of pure gold. And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me always. You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The base and the shaft of the lampstand shall be made of hammered work; its cups, its calyxes, and its petals shall be of one piece with it; and there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with calyx and petals, on one branch, and three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with calyx and petals, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand. On the lampstand itself there shall be four cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with its calyxes and petals. There shall be a calyx of one piece with it under the first pair of branches, a calyx of one piece with it under the next pair of branches, and a calyx of one piece with it under the last pair of branches—so for the six branches that go out of the lampstand. Their calyxes and their branches shall be of one piece with it, the whole of it one hammered piece of pure gold. You shall make the seven lamps for it; and the lamps shall be set up so as to give light on the space in front of it. Its snuffers and trays shall be of pure gold. It, and all these utensils, shall be made from a talent of pure gold. And see that you make them according to the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain. (Exodus 25:23-40, NRSV)

God gave clear instructions as to how the temple was to be adorned. And notice all of the bigger pieces had rings for poles for easy moving as the temple was not yet a single place.

And that is how we should see the understanding of worship. It is not done in one place and only one place but is done everywhere we go because no matter where we go God is there with us. Not because we take God there, but because God is already there.

How does your life reflect the meeting of God everywhere you go?

 

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Faith?

160605Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!” This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country. (Luke 7:11-17, NRSV)

Jesus saw this woman and knew she had just lost her only son and was moved with compassion for her. He told her to stop crying and raised her son from the dead.

Jesus was moved with compassion and did what no one asked for.

Sure the mother probably wanted her son back, but she did not ask. Jesus did not ask her if He could help her. He just did it.

Give thanks to God for the things He gives us that we don’t ask for, the good and the bad. And remember that He is always near to hear our cries.

And thank Him that our faith can be weak, or wandering and He will still be there, even when we don’t seek Him.

He is always there.

 

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Where are you looking?

finished_cross_lens1Today marks the beginning of April, and we are well into the season of Spring. Spring when everything comes back to life, there is resurrection and new life all around us!

Just a few days ago, we gathered together and most of us probably read the story of Jesus’ resurrection from the gospel of Luke. Here we heard of the women going to the tomb to finish the preparation of Jesus’ body, and the stone is rolled away and He is not there. Amazed, two “men” say to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” Or “Why are you looking for Him here, when He told you He wasn’t staying long?”

Jesus told the disciples and all following Him all along, He would die and would rise again. Why did they not believe it?

Why do we not believe it?

Where are we looking for Jesus, that we won’t find Him?

Or where are we looking for a savior where He will not be?

What we know about our savior and this passage helps us remember where Jesus is and what He will do for us.

All things we give up will be replaced.

Did you give up something for Lent? And it was hard at first, but then you made it through to Easter and all was good. You realized you could live with out chocolate, soda, meat, or what ever it was. God gave you the strength to persevere and make it through. What else are you holding onto in life that you could give up to God and have Him replace it for something even better? Where are you looking that could be reformed?

We can always be reborn!

Being a born again christian is not something we Lutherans talk a lot about. But being born anew is something that Martin Luther said happened everyday when we wash our face and remember our baptism. We remember the love that God has for us, and that death and separation from Him through sin are only a confession away. And in that we are reborn and made anew in His image. Our gracious God gives us a new beginning every day! What are we holding onto that is keeping us from the life God intended for us? Where are we looking to find hope, when it is releasing our sins and looking to Him?

What is lost can be found!

We have all wandered off like the sheep, or rolled away like the coin, or walked away from the family like the younger brother. But Jesus never gives up looking for us. He never stops looking for those who wander away. He is always searching for the lost. Even when it gets dark and lonely, God will not give up. Nothing will separate us from the loving kindness of God. He will continually look for us. Where have we wandered to look for hope? Maybe we should turn around and realize God has been searching for us.

The women go looking in the tomb. The disciples come running, to find an empty hole. We look for Jesus where we expect Him, or where our fears, stresses, guilt and shame tell us to.

Where are you looking for Jesus?

Is He there?

 

 

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