Exodus 37: 17-22
“17 They made the lampstand of pure gold. They hammered out its base and shaft, and made its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. 18 Six branches extended from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. 19 Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms were on one branch, three on the next branch and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. 20 And on the lampstand were four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. 21 One bud was under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair—six branches in all. 22 The buds and the branches were all of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold. 23 They made its seven lamps, as well as its wick trimmers and trays, of pure gold. 24 They made the lampstand and all its accessories from one talent of pure gold.”
The Israelites, living in the wilderness, were decorating the Tabernacle with very elaborate and ornate furnishings. This would be where God would live, they thought; where they would worship.
Jesus told the Samaritan woman in John 4 that “a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem... Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
God can be worshiped in any place at any time, as the Jews discovered in exile; as the people who listened to Jesus preach on the hilltops, and on the seashores discovered; as John Wesley discovered when he was barred from preaching in churches; as we have discovered during this pandemic.
Going to church is a good thing, but not having a church is not an excuse for not worshiping God. We do not need gold furnishing to worship God. We don’t need a specific place or location.
All we need is a willing spirit and a desire for God.
May the love of Christ be with you,
Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)