Sept. 24, 2013 — At a family wedding this summer my niece, Katie, told me she loved the book Terry and I sent as a gift to her son, Wesley, in celebration of his birth. “On the Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman is based on Psalm 139, and I must admit I love it, too. The first time I read it, standing in front of a bookrack in Barnes & Noble, I cried. Why? Because the author captured God’s love for each and every human being and just how special we are to Him.
Katie told me she particularly loved the part about the polar bears dancing on the night her son was born and I responded that the joy she experienced was how God feels about her too.
It is difficult to wrap earthly minds around a heavenly God. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8
Recently Russian President Vladimir Putin disagreed with the idea of “American exceptionalism.” He wrote in an op-ed piece for the New York Times: “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional.” My husband commented that God made each person exceptional, unique, one of a kind. We are created in His image, and the reason Americans believe they are exceptional is rooted in their Christian heritage.
The psalmist wrote — “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
How wonderful are God’s works? They are revealed in the steps God took to have a relationship with His creation. I got a glimpse this past week when I went through a replica of the tabernacle the Israelites constructed in the desert with blueprints given to Moses by God. It is a ministry of Capo Beach Calvary who sets up the “tent of meeting” (common reference because God met with His people there) at various churches around the country. On this occasion the site was Little Country Church in Redding, California.
Called “The Tabernacle Experience,” a recorded message guides you through from the Altar of Burnt Offering, to the Laver, the Lampstand, Table of Bread, Altar of Incense and to the Ark of the Covenant and Mercy Seat located in the Holy of Holies. The message reveals the connection of Jesus Christ to each station in the tabernacle … a foreshadowing. For example, at the Altar of Burnt Offering where the Israelites sacrificed animals for forgiveness of sin we were reminded that now we go to the cross for forgiveness of sin because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. (“So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.” Heb 9:28)
As I stepped into the Holy of Holies I remembered that once only the High Priest could go in to meet with God on the Day of Atonement because sin kept us from an intimate walk with God. But the day Christ died the thick curtain of separation in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom providing access to God.
A few days after my tour of the tabernacle I received an advertisement for a magazine in which the copy read: “a publication whose God isn’t way up in the sky.” I thought “the God I know is not up in the sky. When Jesus was born he was called Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
God tabernacles — dwells — with us this very day if we so desire. He desires it, and made a way through Jesus Christ … it is our choice.
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