Sunday, January 09, 2005

Sermon Idea Number - 8 -

Suggested Titles:

When God moves in.
God lives with people.
Preparing a home for God.


Exodus 40

Passage Overview – some highlights:

In this passage, the tabernacle – the place of worship – which has been detailed and constructed in all its intricacy for some 15 chapters – is finally set-up. All of the details of the tabernacle that appear in the preceding chapters are overwhelming for a Sunday sermon, but some emphasis should be given to the fact of the details. Matters of worship are not a place where things can or should be left out. God has called these people to be a worshipping community and then they construct with God the tent of worship. Note, they construct with God the place of worship – and details of it are important, the place of worship is not a haphazard “thing” – it’s intricate and detailed. Their allegiance to God is manifest in this special, unique place. It’s sacred space for sacred time events!

Important Specific Concepts:

Exodus 40:17 The tabernacle is set up on the first day of the first month – “New Years” if you will.

More than “New Years” though, the day that God moves into the Tabernacle, corresponds liturgically to the first day of creation. In a theological sense then, God creates the world in Genesis 1 on the first day of creation and here, on the first day of this New Year God creates for Israel, and Israel constructs with God “new creation.” The tabernacle, in a sense, represents God’s continued act of creating in the world – and he creates here for worship!

A couple other comments not here in Exodus 40, but part of the larger narrative. The tabernacle was literally the building at the heart/center of the tribes. They literally camped around it – with God at their center!

Ideas for Illustrations:

Our culture often makes “New Years Resolutions” to do things. Tell a story about something like this and show how the “New Years Resolution” for the Israel is about God living in their midst, in their place of worship!

If you’re like me, you’ve built small Lego or erector-set or tinker-toy buildings or objects, compare the ones you may have built with some of the professional/huge buildings built by others. Think about the intricacy involved in some of the “life-size” Lego constructions you may have seen (or look up on the internet) to compare to the intricacy of this tabernacle.

Ideas for Wrapping Up - Response - Call:

How should we make God central in our lives?

How can we “create” with God his goodness for creation?

What must we do to prepare our lives/homes/sanctuaries to be places where the Glory of God will reside?


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