Monday, December 17, 2007

Thinking of the Temple

I keep thinking of the first temple. A flimsy thing it must have been. I mean, there it was – woven material held in place with rope and poles, swaying in the wind, likely hot inside. Is this a fit dwelling place for God? I made a model of it once. In Sunday School we cut out a model of it from a pattern, I suppose purchased in a store that supplied projects for Sunday Schools. It was white paper, held together with Elmer’s glue and finger prints. I think of that model every once in awhile. I wonder whatever became of it.

Later – years later – the realization came to me that this fragile paper structure actually represented a real place – the dwelling place of God. This puzzled me. Wasn’t God everywhere? One description of hell is being “apart from God.” I’ve studied this a bit – I know all the stock answers, but it doesn’t answer the question, because I have absolutely no idea what being apart from God would be like. I can’t even imagine it.

So. Anyway. God dwells in a tent – or at least the Glory of God is a viable presence there, a tangible bug zapper dealing in the real world in a real and measurable way.

What kind of God is this? Hmmm. Maybe this tent idea isn’t such a strange idea after all. Because of the fall, we were set apart – the wrong way. Maybe it’s not so much that we can experience him – after all, by everything we see, hear, taste, touch, smell – we experience him. Maybe the tent is for him to experience us. Wow. Goose bumps.

1 comment:

LN- Nickers and Ink said...

Maybe the frail tent is a model of His divine humility, as He later appeared in human form in the incarnation. Or perhaps how He indwells us. What sort of canvas are we made of?

You sparked some thinking here . . .

Nice post.