Ever played that game where one person describes a picture, and another has to try and draw it from that description? Even more challenging when you get three or four couples all trying to compete for air space, to communicate their descriptions. Noisy, but fun!
As I read the instructions in Exodus 26:1-6 for the curtains of the tabernacle, I try to imagine how that would look. It’s not easy to convert words into pictures, even without interference. But I do get the impression that it had to be:-
Durable – from finely twisted linen. High quality. Only the best would do.
Flexible – materials that could be folded and moved, with a join to make that easier.
Consistent – each piece the same size and colour scheme, clasps aligned, fitting together.
Effective – skilfully designed, carefully made, fit for purpose.
Beautiful – embellished with craftsmanship, an appropriate decoration on the selected colour scheme.
This was to be the place God was having constructed, so that he could show his presence among his people. Wherever they moved, he would be with them. Those concepts make fine ideals for a church today. Each could be a sermon in its own right!
But as individual who are seeking to serve God, these are great challenges to us personally.
Durable – Do I give the best of my time, energy and effort to serving God, or is it the left-overs at the end of the day?
Flexible – Do I try to mould with others in church, fill the gaps that no-one else can do? Am I willing work with the changes, or do I think that church should fit around me?
Consistent – Do I keep my promises and fulfil the tasks I’ve committed to, punctually and effectively, whether other people know it or not? When I have different opinions, do I find positive, appropriate and constructive ways to air them?
Effective – Do I equip myself through prayer, bible study and spiritual disciplines, or do I make do with what I can get away with?
Beautiful – Do I consistently check my behaviour against God’s standards, seeking his forgiveness and power to put right? Do I worship the Lord with the beauty of holiness?
God laid out the standards he needed so he could inhabit that tabernacle, and stay present with his people. If I want the presence of the Lord, nothing less is required from me.