Tonight was the last Sunday night service at Energizer – at least for the foreseeable future.
It was a good night though. We had “our” One50 Dancers come and perform at church tonight, and they were great again!
There was one little piece of message that one of the girls from One50 shared, that I was really struck by in particular. She talked about being on the bus, travelling through Tasmania and looking out at our mountains.
For those who don’t know, Tasmania’s beautiful, and has some amazing mountains.
But anyway, she said that as she looked at the mountains, she could see them as the problems that we face. We face all sorts of problems every day, and sometimes we stare up at them like we’re at the foot of a mountain, and just shake our head thinking that there’s no way that we can climb it. As we look at the mountains, though, we can remember that someone has already climbed it before us; they’ve proven that it can be done. We can be assured that as we stand at the foot of that mountain, that someone’s gone before us and already reached the top, they’ve shown that the mountain can be scaled.
She also pointed out that it’s just a single step at a time. We don’t have to run up the mountain, we can just take it one small step at a time. It may take us a while to get to the top, but if we just concentrate on each little step, then eventually we’ll make it.
I was really touched and encouraged by this.
So as I read about Bezalel and Oholiab I came back to thinking about gifts and talents that God gives us. God says to Moses that he has filled Bezalel:
“And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts – “ ~ Exodus 31:2
We’ve all been given gifts, skills, abilities and knowledge – and Bezalel was given these gifts, specifically so that he could build God’s meeting place. You’ve got to think, the stuff that this guy had to make was pretty intense and detailed; he was making items to actually present directly to God himself! That, I would think, would be pretty intimidating.
Wow, interesting interruption – God’s just interrupted my thougth process to point out that he doesn’t care about what quality of work we think we can offer him. He only cares that we do.
I’m getting this picture of a parent, whose daughter comes home with a finger painting telling dad that the painting’s a portrait of him. Of course it doesn’t look anything like him, it’s just a massive swirl of blues, reds, yellows, greens, oranges, pinks, all mixed together to make a myriad of other shades and colours. That’s not what the Dad sees, though. He looks down at his daughter, holding up the painting and all that he feels is warmth, admiration and love, it fills his heart and swells in his chest, because his daughter painted this picture of him.
And that’s the way God looks at it. He’s given us gifts, and even though we might feel that what comes out when we use them is nothing more than a messy swirl of colours, God doesn’t see that. He sees us using that gift for him; he sees the painting as a testimony of our love and adoration for him, and he returns that adoration and love straight back to us.
He is a father, adoring of his children, every one.
Wow, I’m exhausted – and the logical thing would be for me to go to sleep, but once again I’m committing myself to actually doing this study of the word.
To some people it might sound like I’m not doing much – only reading a chapter a day, it’ll take three and a half years to get through the bible, all that kind of stuff. However, for my perspective, I’m actually absorbing what I’m reading because I’m actually doing these little commentaries on it. I know that it’s bringing me closer to God, and I actually feel the connection through really absorbing what he’s said, moreso than I ever did in my previous life of just reading – usually late at night – and then falling asleep.
Tonight was great. Helped out with Energizer Youth who brought the One50 Dance Team from Adelaide to perform at YouthArc in Hobart. They were fantastic.
I’m not a dancer, so to be honest, perhaps that’s why I’m so amazed whenever I watch it – because it’s just not something that I can do! I do really enjoy watching it though, even if I can’t necessarily interpret what it actually means, and can only dream of actually being able to do it. We all have our own gifts, and I had the realisation last night, that that’s a good thing. We admire the gifts in others, but at the same time, we need to recognise that we have our own gifts too.
And if it wasn’t for the variety of gifts and talents that God created us with, well, how would we actually be able to appreciate other people? I’m a writer, and therefore I find that I’m a lot more critical of other writers, and to be honest, sometimes find it difficult to enjoy books that other people really love! However, I could watch someone who is a below average dancer, and all I see is “Wow, I can’t move like that – that’s awesome.”
One50 were far from below average, so I was just even more impressed!
Quite often, it seems, God points two main things out to me as I read a chapter in this Bible Journey. Tonight, again, is two things.
The main thing that I just found as I was reading this chapter, was how arduous and long and detailed the process of atonement was! I mean, seriously, it was a week of sacrificing a variety of different animals. You really wouldn’t want to be a vegetarian Israelite, that’s for sure.
What really stands out to me though is the difference between then and now. I mentioned not too long ago (maybe last night?) about the fact that we can now come into God’s presence without fear. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, God opened up the door back to us, so that we could enter his throne room as the children that he created us to be. We’re not snivelling peasants crawling on hands and knees in terror that if we say the wrong thing, or bow the wrong way, or look at the wrong person then the king will have our heads removed. No, we’re sons and daughters of God, the King of Kings, and we can enter his presence just like that, as children approaching a loving father.
It wasn’t the case for Aaron. Without the perfect sacrifice that was Jesus, they had to do what they could with the blood of bulls and rams and other animals to be atoned and cleansed enough to enter God’s presence.
Which brings me to the next point. The meal.
“At the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, Aaron and his sons are to eat the meat of the ram and the bread that is in the basket. They are to eat these offerings by which atonement was made for their ordination and consecration. But no one else may eat them, because they are sacred.” ~ Exodus 29:32-33
Parallel much? Perhaps with the Last Supper, or communion that we now celebrate.
There are – in this second point – two things that stand out to me again!
First, the power of blood. Aaron and his sons had to be sprinkled with blood to be consecrated and able to present themselves to God. Jesus’ blood, the perfect sacrifice, is enough to consecrate us to present ourselves to God. Blood, the very essence of life – giving up life is the only way to cover the price of sin; which is death.
Second, consumption. This sounds a little weird, but Aaron and his sons ate the sacrifice of the ram and the bread for their ordination and consecration. In consuming the symbols of our redemption and consecration, we are accepting them into our very being. We allow them to become part of us, so that we then can be filled with that consecration and atonement.
The parallel of Jesus and communion alongside this meal that was eaten by the priests really stands out to me.
Perhaps a little heavy on the theology tonight, I apologise. Not bad given that an hour ago I was ready to pass out!