It’s passages like this that make even my heart sing! The palpability of worship truly inspires. We know moving the Ark of the Covenant is serious business to be done in just the right way prescribed by God. Rather than fear, the people rejoiced.
With the temple construction complete, it was time to move God’s presence back in. Only after the arrival of the Ark could the temple be truly finished. The work King David had initiated was fulfilled. In readings to follow, Solomon will pray and dedicate the space. For now, we’ll focus on worship!
Our Advent preparations are heading into the home stretch. It’s time to take a deep breath and prepare for the final frantic moments yet to come. Why do we try to pack so much into such a short period of time? There’s traveling, cookie baking, card sending, concert attending, rehearsing, decorating, wrapping gifts, carol singing–I’ve got to be forgetting something! Yes — hoping in Christ!
Isaiah’s prophecy speaks loudly to us as well. We can surely identify with living in a “time of darkness and despair,” too. Anytime God is absent from a conversation or a decision or an event, the potential for darkness exists. Isaiah’s message brings hope to those living in darkness when he says, “will not go on forever.”
On my first read through this reading, I couldn’t help but wonder, “God, what do you want for me to reflect on?” Then I realized I needed to think bigger, just like the man with the measuring tool trying to measure Jerusalem. He was measuring what was left, as if to reconstruct exactly what was there before.
That man wasn’t doing anything wrong, but he was limiting what God could do. Jerusalem had laid in ruin for 70 years. Now the people were returning. I imagine it was something like a “homing device” calling the people back to their homeland. Zechariah’s vision speaks to just how many people. “Jerusalem will someday be so full of people and livestock that there won’t be room enough for everyone! Many will live outside the city walls.”
Peter gets intimate with us here, reminding us of what’s important. Revealing his passion from having spent time with the Messiah himself, Peter shares a glimpse of what it must have been like. Peter knew he wouldn’t live forever and had to make sure he left his own legacy of faith for us to find.
Have you ever had an experience in life that you recall in perfect clarity and detail, as if it just happened a minute ago? Jesus’ transfiguration was like that for Peter. You can’t un-see something so magnificent. You wouldn’t want to. You only feel limited by the language we have to describe things. Seeing Jesus’ sparkling body and hearing God’s voice would certainly have rocked me to my core!
In his vision, Daniel saw “someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven.” After our last few passages spoke of Jesus in this way, it is good to see the source. Jesus also referenced this verse to refer to himself (Matthew 26:64; Luke 21:27; John 1:51). I love when I find examples of where verses point to each other.
Daniel didn’t know he was seeing Jesus. If you read the earlier part of Chapter 7, you’ll see that Daniel’s vision had included all sorts of beasts. He clearly recognized that there was another figure, one that looked like a man, in the presence of God, the Ancient of Days.