Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ending Exodus

I had a rare afternoon alone and doubled up on my reading... so I am coming to the end of Exodus. I remember the first time I read it, I was fascinated with the descriptions of the Tent of Meeting and the vestments for Aaron and his sons. The details are delicious: Linen fibers of three colors woven together by craftsmen. Gold rings to carry the Ark and the table upon which it was placed. I thought of what acacia wood must smell like... and what the oil mixture was like, with myrrh and cinnamon and other spices. It is like a how-to manual. A schematic of God's dwelling place here on earth.

Sometimes I have found overly ornate churches a bit off-putting. Like they were built to impress someone other than God: Friends or neighbors- the next town over. But maybe we put so much energy into the work itself because there is no other way to really convey just how much God means to us. The best fibers, the most costly metals... none of it can really begin to express our gratitude and love.

I love these descriptions in Exodus... even the bulls and the goats. Even the fact that God doesn't want some crummy second rate goat. Some deformed freak of a goat. But a beautiful one. The best one. The one that is a real sacrifice to offer because you love it and are proud of it and have nurtured it from birth.

Because God, who has saved us from slavery, deserves nothing less.


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