"The Lord has chosen Bezalel... and has filled him with
the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding,
with knowledge and with all kinds of skills."
Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Welcome to Summer! It feels like this year is flying by as the school year wraps up and a new season begins. My niece Rachel just graduated from high school, and I was able to be with her to celebrate last weekend. For all of you with children in your lives, you know just how quickly 18 years can go by! Please be praying especially for our high school and college graduates as they transition into the next big plans God has for them. May God lead and guide, and may He remind you of His faithful presence wherever you go!
This Sunday, we will be looking at the final part of the Gifts of Grace series, this week focusing on a passage in Exodus about the building of the tabernacle. Imagine the Israelites in the wilderness. They have escaped the Egyptians as the Lord delivered them through the Red Sea. God has given them manna from heaven and water from a rock. He has given them the Ten Commandments. And now the Lord wants to give them a specific place of worship. His instructions on building the tabernacle are incredibly detailed. For a weary group of refugees camping in the desert, it sounds like an impossible task. But God has a plan.
In Exodus 35-40, we see the Lord raise up all the people and materials that will be needed for the work. Moses asks for donations, and in Ex. 35:21, it says "everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments." So many people brought offerings that Moses eventually had to turn people away! Wouldn't that be a wonderful problem to have!
As all the material donations came in, the Lord also identified and raised up men and women to do the work. Verses 30-35 highlight two people in particular, Bezalel and Oholiab, who are specially gifted by the Spirit not only with the necessary skills but also with the ability to teach others.
When all was complete, the "glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle," a cloud so thick that even Moses could not enter.
This narrative in Exodus is a powerful example for us to follow today. In the New Testament, Paul frequently uses this image as a metaphor to describe building up the Body of Christ. In Christ, Paul says in Colossians 2:21, "The whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord."
We are both the builders and the temple itself. Some of us weave, some of us build foundations, and others build lampstands. Some of us work in the front courtyards to welcome in worshippers, others work behind the scenes, preparing the offerings for the Lord. All of us working together, building each other up, create a space where the Lord can be present in a powerful way.
This is what we long for as we talk about spiritual gifts. We long to see the whole Body of Christ flourishing as we serve the Lord together. We long for our community to see the presence of the Lord through the way we serve and worship. To do this, every single one of you is important. Every single one of you has something to offer. Every single one of you has been called and gifted for a purpose.
Have you taken the Spiritual Gifts Inventory yet? Copies are available throughout the church, and online with this link:
On June 9 and June 16, we invite you to join us during the Sunday School hour for a workshop to explore your own gifts and how you can use them effectively.
May God continue His building process, as He works in and through each of us. And may His Glory fill the temple!