Welcome back to Exodus! This week starts a lot of instructions for the Israelites. We’ll talk more next week about how God really is the designer of worship. It isn’t about us, it’s about giving glory to him in the way he instructs. This week we will start to see that. Below you will see my APPLY for the week. I was really inspired by the instructions on how to build the tabernacle found toward the end of the week.
Monday, April 30 Chapter 21
Tuesday, May 1 Chapter 22
Wednesday, May 2 Chapter 23
Thursday, May 3 Chapter 24
Friday, May 4 Chapter 25
As I said in one of the preview videos, I like to have posters of the memory verse as well as note cards around my house and my car to help me with the memory work. You can download a FREE 8.5″ x 11″ poster and a 3″ x 5″ card by clicking the image below.
On Saturday, May 5 I will be going live in our private website to discuss our first week. During this time I will answer any questions you may have and discuss our readings. Join us at 8:30am CST.
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Last year we recognized 500 years since the Protestant Reformation. It’s a truly fascinating time period in history, objectively speaking. I love reading about medieval times, mostly the madness of Henry VIII. Right now I’m binge watching The Tudors on Netflix. It is a historical drama, so they take real themes and put them into a cinematic framework. One of the fantastic things they have done a brilliant job of bringing to the screen are the events surrounding the Protestant Reformation in England and the establishment of the Church of England. One of the common objections of the time, that is still present today, is the opulence of the Church.
Yes, we like nice things. So many churches, especially those built before the Second Vatican Council, are filled with elaborate art, ornate stained glass, marble altars, and golden tabernacles. To some, this is really off-putting. It may make us seem shallow, selfish, and disengaged from the needs of others as Jesus wants. There are three things I’d like to say to those who see it that way.
- The Catholic Church’s greatest wealth is our poor, sick, hungry, and needy. Tradition holds that when St. Lawrence was commanded by the emperor to bring him the wealth of the Church, St. Lawrence brought to him the poor, sick, hungry, and needy. He proclaimed that the wealth of the Church is in her people and the people she ministers to. There is no group of people in the history of the planet earth that have fed, clothed, housed, and educated more people than the Catholic Church.
- We give of our time, talent, AND treasure for the glory of God. It’s not like all of the opulence was commandeered by force or coercion. It is the privilege of the faithful to give according to their hearts (25:1) for the glory of God and beautification of his house. And this beauty isn’t just for us. Anyone can go see the Sistine Chapel, not just Catholics. The Church doesn’t hoard the great history, art, and music that she has contributed to culture throughout the past 2,000 years.
- The final thing I want to say goes to what we will begin to see this week. God instructs Moses and the Israelites to have all that gold, fine linen, and purple to be in his holy place. If God has instructed the Israelites to make the place he comes down from heaven to reside with his people, then why should we do anything different? It’s not like God said stay far away from all things gold, it’s too ornate for people to see when they are worshipping.
When we enter into a church, we should feel like we are entering heaven. Heaven is beautiful, ornate, grand, opulent, and full of sunshine and sparkle. Our churches should be too. It is in our churches, like in the tabernacle, that our Lord comes to encounter us. The riches of the Church are in her people and the people she serves, but we can glorify God by honoring his instruction and building our churches to reflect his heavenly abode.
In case you missed last week, you can check it here.
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