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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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Jesus appears to Seven Disciples

After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. (John 21:1-14, NRSV)

Don’t you think they would have questioned Jesus when He asked them if they had any fish and when they said no He said to cast the net to the right side of the boat? Really we’ve been out here all night and haven’t caught anything don’t you think we cast the net on the right side of the boat? But they don’t. Either they are too tired, or they really want to catch some fish. So they do it. And when they do, they catch so many fish they can’t pull the net into the boat.

That is when they realize it is Jesus. I wonder where did Jesus go? He appeared to Mary on Easter, and then to the 10 on the evening of Easter. Then to the 11 disciples including Thomas the week after. And then here to the 7 on the Monday after that. So where did Jesus go in between these appearances to the disciples?

But here is the point, I wonder, but it really doesn’t matter. If it was important for us to know, we would know. But it is not important for our journey. God is with us, Jesus never left us. We are in His presence, even when we question it. Know He is always with you. Leading you and guiding you as you walk the path you trod.

 

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The Work of the Spirit

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. (John 16:4b-15, NRSV)

No one asked Jesus where He was going. Why? Because they believed He was going to the Father. And when He goes He will not leave them or us alone, He will send the Advocate.

And Jesus gas to go for the Advocate to come. We need the Advocate to show us our sin, and how to be righteous, and about judgment. So we might understand how we are to continue to live in the love of God. And how we might share God’s grace, mercy, and love with all the world.

So where is He going?

Do you believe it?

Are you happy to see the Advocate?

 

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Where

 

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Division among the People

When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, “This is really the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some asked, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So there was a division in the crowd because of him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. (John 7:40-44, NRSV)

Bethlehem is in Galilee. I wonder why this caused division among the people.

So they didn’t know what to do with Him.

So they let Him go unsure what to do.

So what do you believe about Jesus?

 

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Where were you?

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: ‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me. ‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? ‘Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?—when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped”? (Job 38:1-11, NRSV)

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world?

God has a way of putting things in perspective.

God set this world into motion, yet still, cares about you.

Here is one of my favorite songs which I think speaks wonderfully about this passage:

 

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Where?

But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. “A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me.” (John 16:5-16, NRSV)

Jesus told the disciples He was leaving, but none of them asked Him where he was going? Why?

Did they finally get something, or were they afraid to ask?

Afraid of where it would be?

Afraid He would want them to go with Him? (Well He did say He was leaving them and the Fathe was sending the Advocate (See John 14:15-31))

They might have finally gotten it. But they don’t ask, and they are sad He is leaving, but as is stated in John 14:15-31 they should be happy, because He is going to the Father and if he goes to the Father He will send the Advocate.

So be happy that Jesus came and left to be with the Father again. Because we can still see Him through the Advocate and His body. He is still here, and we can live with Him forever.

And soon we will be with Him fully again!

 

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