Friday, December 17, 2010
More than anything else, the Tabernacle was God’s dwelling place among his people. Of course, God did not literally live there as people live in their houses. God cannot be contained in any building, however grand. But the Tabernacle signified the presence of God in Israel. It said in physical form, “I am with you.” Thus the Tabernacle, and later the Temple, were crucial to the Israelites because they signified God’s presence.Mark then goes on to opine that under the new covenant Christ dwells in us, not in the structure - fair enough. But does that repurpose the structures we build? And if so to what?
Nowadays we tend to think of the church as a place of evangelical outreach. It's the place we try and draw people to. I; however, have a slightly different view - it's the cavalry outpost, a fort on the frontier if you will.
The primary thing the old cavalry did was send out patrols to make sure the passage of American was safe as they moved through the frontier. Migrants may have stopped at the fort for a rest or provision, but it was not a place of settlement, simply a place of safety.
The "real action" happened out on the trail when the soldiers left the fort and worked the area to make sure the Indians and bandits were nowhere to be seen and to control them when necessary. So the fort was also a place of rest and comfort and safety for the soldier - in fact primarily so.
I wonder what the church would look like, if we viewed ourselves as cavalry soldiers and went out from it, not called into it? I think if would be very different and I think it would be better.