Skilled and Willing
Matthew 27: 32-66
I could, and I want to, talk about what I read today in Matthew..the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus Christ.
The sign above his head hanging on the cross "This is Jesus, King of the Jews."
YES IT IS!
The moment Jesus felt the catastrophic and devastating separation from his Father "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
When the ground shook, the curtain torn, and people broke out of their tombs risen from the dead.
I want to talk about all of that, but I know I will have another opportunity at least 3 more times when I get to the other gospel books. So for today I think you should just go read that yourself, because it really speak for itself.
Today I want to talk about what actually stood out to me in the very boring description of the building of the tabernacle. Because I think it's more unique that I found something interesting in such a boring chapter of Scripture.
I think the discussion about how everyone has gifts to bring to the church is talked more about post Christ. But I was really excited to see how relevant that conversation is here. To us maybe reading the long description of how the tabernacle was to be built and was built seems boring and redundant...but to the Israelites how encouraging would it be for God Himself to say "I want to live among you, I want to have a special place among you, I want you to build it for me, and you already know how to do it."
Today at work my boss wanted to decorate our cupcakes special for Valentine's Day. It was a little off-beat from our regular routine and she asked me if I wanted to help decorate the cupcakes. And not only was it exciting because it's special and different, but it was exciting because that's something I know how to do! When you are at work isn't it nice when someone hands you a project that you know you will excel at? You know it will challenge you in ways you love to be challenged. And in the case of the Israelites, how much more exciting is it when you know it's for a good cause?
To us it may all seem like way too many details that we don't care about, but to the Israelites every little detail is something they received and accomplished. They heard the call: someone to make a tent covering, someone to make clasps, someone to make poles, someone to make a curtain, someone to create a lampstand, someone to make incense, bronze basin, ropes, garments... for each item God listed someone in the Israelite community felt the personal call in their own heart, "I know how to do that."
To us maybe it all sounds redundant, but the Israelites have just escaped from a life of redundant slavery. Now it's possible that everything they learned how to do, how to create will become so useful. And it's all such a willing project because it will be useful to usher in the Presence of God.
I also love that it says that men and women alike were "willing and...[their] heart was moved...[to bring] an offering to the Lord." This was a team effort, men and women alike, bringing their skills, talents, and efforts together to create something beautiful and for their own God.
And they all were so willing and happy to work they brought more than enough to the table, so Moses had to tell them it was enough.
When I read today I was encouraged by the thought that even if the recording of the story is boring, I think the Israelites found this all very exciting. It feels good to work together, it feels good to do something you know how to do for a good cause, it feels good to be recognized as capable and skilled, and it feels good to do it all because can you believe it? God Himself wants to be with us. Can you believe it?
What a God.