Wednesday, December 20, 2006

One reason I like blogging is that it causes me
to slow down and think a little more deeply. My
tendency is to have an idea burst upon me, usually
in my reading, and say to myself, "Wow! What an
incredible idea," and then move on to the next
item on my to do list, folding clothes or whatever
it may be. Often I will think, "Such and such an
idea relates to this verse I read here, and to this
other idea I came across there...," and this all
makes a lightning quick connection in my brain
and then it all dissipates into the reality of
everyday needs of the moment, such as, what meat
should I thaw for dinner?

One of those connectings has been rolling
around a lot lately and here is my stab at
pulling it all together.

I am in the midst of a wonderful book called,
In the Steps of Moses, by Louis Golding. He is
attempting to follow in the steps of Moses beginning
with his birth and going straight through to his
death. After coming up to Mt. Sinai and climbing
it Golding makes the following observations:

"We had made a journey between the Nile and Mount
Sinai in the steps of Moses the Lawgiver. We were
setting out that day on a journey between Mount
Sinai and the Jordan in the steps of Moses the
Conqueror. It was not the second part of a journey
we were making, but a new journey, different in mood,
with different fellow-travellers....We had till this
moment of departure from Sinai been engaged upon an
Exodus, fugitives from the terror of Pharaoh....But
now, now that we were moving forward from Sinai, we
were not a rabble of fugitives any more. A great
thing had happened to us, no greater has ever
happened to any host of men. We were a People....
We were bound together by a Covenant....The Exodus
of a rabble was over. The Advance of a People
towards its pomised heritage was about to begin."

Psalm 114:1,2 says:
When Israel went out of Egypt,
The house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
Judah became His sanctuary,
And Israel His dominion.

So, God began to dwell with His people, and His people
were the called out ones. The Tabernacle and the
Temple were symbols that He was with them. They
showed that He was in their midst.

And then God goes further, He has Isaiah pen the
following promise in Isaiah 7:14:
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son,
and shall call His name Immanuel.

And, of course, that came about in the fullness of
time and Matthew 1:22,23 reports:
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which
was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a
Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which
is translated, "God with us."

No longer would they need the symbols of Tabernacle or
Temple. No longer would God's People need to
picture the presence of God. Now they had
Immanuel in the flesh. God was with them. This
is the picture I carry with me through the
Christmas season.

God with His people. No longer a symbol; no longer
a picture of God, but God Himself with them.

God with His called out ones.


And now we are on a journey. A new journey. A journey
that is like none before it. It is like none other
because the People on this journey are from every
tribe and tongue and people and nation (Revelation 5:9).
And this journey will lead us straight to the Throne
of God.

It will lead us straight to our Immanuel.

Then, not only will we have God with us, we will be with

1 comment:

e-Mom said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. Like you, sometimes my most enlightened moments come when I'm rhythmically matching socks!

I like the imagery of a journey both of God toward us and us toward the throne of God. The "already/not yet" tension is present. God already indwells us by his Spirit (Immanuel, God with us), but we don't yet experience the complete fullness of His presence among us. Unfortunately, we have to wait until we receive our glorified bodies for that! There's a sense that like the new nation of Israel under Moses, as Christians, we too are journeying as "stangers and wayfarers" toward that faroff land of our own. Sometimes I feel an ache and a homesickness which only Immanuel can comfort.

Merry Christmas Laurie! May His presence be the best present of all. See you next year! :~)