Depending on your appetite for detail, the Tabernacle chapters of Exodus either: 1) make your inner Bible nerd giddy with pleasure, or 2) give you brain cramps. Or maybe a little of both. Aside from the infamously tedious genealogies (“so-and-so begat such-and-such”), Exodus 25-31 is one of the most challenging expanses of scripture because it’s almost entirely focused on fabrication. Build this. Sew that. Make this.
Yet every now and then, to keep us emotionally invested, God reminds us what’s behind all the design and décor: “I will be at home among the Israelites, and I will be their God. They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could make a home among them. I am the Lord their God” (Ex. 29:45-46).
Back in June, when we began this journey with Moses and his followers, we talked about how this greatest coming-out story ever told was, at its core, a freedom saga. We affirmed that God liberates Israel from Egypt because God defends the poor and frees the captive and welcomes the outcast. (That’s why we do the same, btw, as children of this God.) Amid the carpentry and construction, swatches and needlework, we find a very clear reason why God lifts the downtrodden and mends the brokenhearted and heals wounded souls. I brought them out so I could make a home among them.
God wants to live with us! That’s what all of this is about. God wants to live with us—all of us, regardless how we identify or what anyone else thinks. That secret’s been there all along, and once we uncover that truth, we can only say, let’s get busy and get this place ready. God’s moving in!
Of course, God’s not going to live just any kind of way. This week we’ll look at all the fashion and ritual demands he makes on his hosts. But the ask is nothing compared to the brilliance of securing a divine address among ex-slaves in recovery and outcasts from the fringes and homeless folks tramping around in the desert. How cool is that? Join us as we put the finishing touches on the tabernacle and say a heartfelt thank you to the Self-Invited Guest of Honor who keeps company with us by choice.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 824 2401 2625
Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using the same meeting ID.
See you this Thursday at 7:30pm CDT. And if you’re in the Chicago area plan now to be with us for live worship, popping up this Sunday (8/15) at Thee Beauty Bar, 810 E. 43rd Street, Bronzeville at 5pm CDT. We have a surprise special guest artist scheduled to join us, along with our own amazing house music worship team. Come for the worship. Stay for the dance.
We need your help!
As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!
Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea
As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.