Monday, March 20, 2017

Day 48: Curtains and a New Kid in Town

Exodus 25, 26 and Mark 1:1-22

These chapters give us a lot of details about curtains and building. Mark opens the curtains to share Jesus’ story with a story of John the Baptist.

Exodus 25

Moses is to ask the people for gifts to begin building the Tabernacle. Remember how God allowed them to plunder Egypt of Gold and other precious things? Now these items are asked to be returned to God to build the place of worship. God says only those whose hearts prompt them to give should give. These precious metals and materials are then to be used to build the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle.
The instructions for the Ark and the tabernacle are very complex. Honestly I have a hard time imagining them. I have found a couple of artist interpretations to share with you.
Above and Below, Artists' renditions of Ark of the Covenant

Above and Below: Artists' rendition of Tabernacle and surrounding courtyard

Exodus 26

This chapter is all about curtains, specifically the curtains to build the Tabernacle. It is important to note that this was the beginning of faith for the Israelite people. Metaphor and Material had a very close connection. The symbolism found ion these items would have been very important to developing religious identity. The Tabernacle, with all its curtains, and the Ark were designed to be able to move with the people. This was to remind the people of God’s continual presence with them. God did not live far away, but wanted to dwell within their camp.

Mark 1:1-22

God is seeking in Exodus to draw closer to the people. In the Gospel of Mark, like the other Gospels, God draws nearer to humanity than ever before by becoming the Emmanuel, God with us, in Christ Jesus.
Mark is the most direct and shortest Gospel. It opens up with the statement that the Messiah is coming and John the Baptist, in all of his wild weirdness is leading the way. Jesus is baptized by John and immediately is driven away by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights of temptation. Immediately is Mark’s favorite word, by the way.
The first words Jesus speaks in Mark are “The time has come- the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe.” Jesus’ ministry will be unlike anything the people have seen before. It will call people to turn from their ways, yes even their ways they think are righteous, and turn toward God.

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