Scripture Focus: Exodus 26:30, 33-34
30 “Set up the tabernacle according to the plan shown you on the mountain…33 Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the covenant law behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. 34 Put the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law in the Most Holy Place.
Reflection: His Presence, Our Beauty
By Erin Newton
Amid the desert, the Tabernacle was an oasis of color. Blue, purple, red. Against the dull hues of brown rocks and sandy ground, there would be the shimmer of gold, silver, and bronze. Where God dwelt with his people, there would be beauty.
It’s easy to get lost in the detailed blueprint for the tabernacle. If we collect all the materials together, it is an array of beauty. There are acacia frames and wooden cross bars. Hooks and clasps in precious metals. Fine linen in jewel-toned colors of a sunset just before the darkness of night.
This is how God chose to be with his people—among the drab backdrop of a desert, he created a vibrant refuge. It is the extraordinary among the ordinary.
God dwelt with his people in the most inhospitable places. In a place without life, God would sustain them with food and water. Day after day after day. All the while, he traveled with them. He guided them. He dwelt with them. The Creator nestled among the created.
As time carried on, the presence of God moved to the permanent Temple. Surrounded by scenes of a garden—it was filled with palm trees and floral designs, cedar walls and golden details, images of the same winged creatures that guarded the entrance to Eden.
Then his presence moved among the people once again. Jesus tabernacled in the fabric of a human body with sunkissed skin of deep brown hues.
Upon the cross, the jewel-toned hues were seen once more. Blue and purple bruises marred his beaten body. Scarlet red blood dripped from his head, hands, feet, and side. His body, disfigured with the vibrant colors of royalty, hung on a cross in the most humble of deaths.
The dark night and shadowed tomb would not hold his presence. As promised, he took up residence in the hearts of every believer. Like the bright golden tongues of fire, the Spirit fell upon the people. He came to dwell again in a lonely place, bringing life and beauty to our souls.
And so, he has remained, in the hearts of every one of us.
He brings life to our mortal bodies. He clothes us in the rich hues of his grace. Among the prism of colors God brings to his people, he clothes us in white—the full intensity of all colors all at once. His presence is our crowning beauty.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Morning Psalm
Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to another… — Psalm 90.1
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.
Read more about Of Temples and Gardens
The Tabernacle, Solomon’s Temple, and other biblical Temples mimic and recreate the imagery of Eden’s garden.
Read more about From The Most Holy Place
The same Spirit that makes the most holy place holy has been sent to “tabernacle” within us.