The Readings: Exodus 40:18-38; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12; Matthew 5:38-48
Component by component, Moses sets up the tabernacle until the glory of the LORD fills the tabernacle. What is this like? Like this.
In our world’s future: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.’” (Rev. 21:1-4).
Today’s text: only a foretaste, but truly a foretaste.
The other readings…
Reading today’s Gospel with Exodus still ringing in our ears, recall that Matthew frames his Gospel with God-with-us (“Emmanuel” in 1:23; “I am with you always” in 28:20). I wonder: is there some relation between Matthew’s God-with-us and the expectations Jesus lays out in Matt 5-7 (the “Sermon on the Mount”), life in the camp around the Tabernacle as it were? The Tabernacle completed, the LORD’s glory very visible. Is the point of Matt 5-7 that the LORD’s glory be very visible in the LORD’s children?
(I wondered about some of this when Matt 5 appeared in the Sunday Lectionary (6th Sunday after the Epiphany) and have posted that sermon on this blog.)