I wrote enough daily reflections to last an entire week after the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Since Christmas Eve falls on a Monday this year, I will publish the remaining reflections through the rest of the week. This week’s reflections explore the theme: “The Temple reminds Community of Christ that God is with us, working through us to transform the world.”
Exodus 25:1-2, 8
God said to Moses:
Tell the Israelites to take up an offering for me.
Accept contributions to my offering
from anyone who feels moved to give.
Have the people build for me a sacred place
where I can live among them.
I am an Israelite, traveling with my people through the desert after having fled from slavery in Egypt. Wherever we pitch camp, we erect the sacred tent, the Tabernacle, at the center of the camp. I see the Tabernacle, and I am reminded that God, too, is traveling with us, living in a tent like us. I am reminded that I am part of a people who have entered a covenant relationship with God. I see the Tabernacle, and I am reminded that God is with us.
I am a 21st-century Christian. At Christmastime, I and other Christians adorn our homes and churches with nativity scenes, depicting Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the Magi, adoring the Christ child in the manger. I see these nativity scenes, and I am reminded that God became flesh and lived among us—“pitched his tent” among us, according to the literal meaning of the Greek text for John 1:14. I see nativity scenes, and I am reminded that God is with us.
I am a member of Community of Christ. Twenty-five years ago, my faith community erected a temple in Independence, Missouri, where the founders of our movement had dreamed of building a “house of the Lord,” inspired by the Tabernacle and the Temple built by the Israelites in Bible times. I see the Independence Temple, and I am reminded that I am part of a community of Christ’s disciples who are working with God to bring about God’s vision for creation. I see the Temple, and I am reminded that God is with us.