My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the Lord spoke to him.
Reflection: Prayer, Our Tent of Meeting
By John Tillman
In today’s reading from Numbers, we get a description of Moses talking with God in the Tent of Meeting. The Tent of meeting described here is not the first tent of meeting, but the one that replaced it, in the newly finished tabernacle. There in the Holy of Holies, Moses hears the voice of God from between the cherubim above the place of atonement.
Scripture tells us that the conversations of Moses with God were intimate. God spoke to Moses as a man speaks to his friend. But this communication was not only personal—it was communal.
Moses entering the Tent of Meeting was a communitywide event. When Moses entered, the entire community would come and stand at the entrances to their own tents as Moses spoke with God on their behalf.
The design of the Tabernacle and the Tent of Meeting was a tool for community prayer and connection. Prayer—even individual prayer—is an act of community, because God is a God of community.
At the center of this community are the symbols of the atonement that God has set in motion. It is through the atonement that Moses heard God’s voice. The voice from between the cherubim came from the spot where the blood of the atonement sacrifices were placed by the high priest.
For us, prayer is our tent of meeting, where the deepest thirsts of our souls may be satisfied. When we pray as Jesus taught, we enter into God’s presence through the torn curtain of the Tent of Meeting, and hear his voice because of his atoning sacrifice.
This week, on Thursday, The United States will observe a National Day of Prayer. As you pray this week, be reminded that you are entering the tent of meeting in priestly capacity and carry the ability to bring before God the sins and concerns of your nation.
May we all be empowered to pray beyond a personal conversation and approach God on behalf of our communities and our world.
Like Moses, we approach prayer as an individual, speaking to God through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. But we bring with us all the concerns and cares of our communities and our world. As we pray, the world stands at our backs waiting for us to exit the tent of prayer, and act.
Prayer: The Morning Psalm
Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God; give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death… — Psalm 13.3
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.
Numbers 7 (Listen – 12:50)
Psalm 42-43 (Listen – 2:32)
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Read more about Sewing up the Veil
The scriptures tell us that the veil of the temple was torn in two. Mark and Matthew add the helpful detail that it tore “From top to bottom” implying heavenly agency in its destruction.
Read more about Praying as Priests
Blessing others may go beyond simple kindness as we take on our role as a royal priesthood. Just as the family of Aaron were priests under Aaron, we are priests under Jesus, our high priest.