Prayer for the Day – Saturday 9 May

Collect
Almighty God,
who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:
grant that, as by your grace going before us
   you put into our minds good desires,
so by your continual help
we may bring them to good effect;
through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Exodus 40.17-38
17In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was set up. 18Moses set up the tabernacle; he laid its bases, and set up its frames, and put in its poles, and raised up its pillars; 19and he spread the tent over the tabernacle, and put the covering of the tent over it; as the Lord had commanded Moses. 20He took the covenant and put it into the ark, and put the poles on the ark, and set the mercy-seat above the ark; 21and he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the curtain for screening, and screened the ark of the covenant; as the Lord had commanded Moses. 22He put the table in the tent of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the curtain, 23and set the bread in order on it before the Lord; as the Lord had commanded Moses. 24He put the lampstand in the tent of meeting, opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle, 25and set up the lamps before the Lord; as the Lord had commanded Moses. 26He put the golden altar in the tent of meeting before the curtain, 27and offered fragrant incense on it; as the Lord had commanded Moses. 28He also put in place the screen for the entrance of the tabernacle. 29He set the altar of burnt-offering at the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered on it the burnt-offering and the grain-offering as the Lord had commanded Moses. 30He set the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it for washing, 31with which Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet. 32When they went into the tent of meeting, and when they approached the altar, they washed; as the Lord had commanded Moses. 33He set up the court around the tabernacle and the altar, and put up the screen at the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.
34Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

35Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36Whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on each stage of their journey; 37but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day that it was taken up. 38For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, before the eyes of all the house of Israel at each stage of their journey.

This is an interesting passage for us in these days. These people had the opposite of ‘lockdown’:  no place to call home and constantly on the move. The effect was the same, however:  they had to make do with a temporary place of worship. Nonetheless, the Glory of the Lord filled their temporary place.

Wow, that sounds really good!

And continuing on the theme, this extract from Psalm 84: “How lovely is thy dwelling place”.

At the moment, you could say that is in our homes. Wow, that’s a great thought, let’s hold onto it.
(theologically, this dwelling place is actually in us!  …but let’s wait for another passage to explore that.)

1  How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
   My soul has a desire and longing to enter the courts of the Lord;
      my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.
2  The sparrow has found her a house
      and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young:
   at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
3  Blessed are they who dwell in your house:
   they will always be praising you.
4  Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
   in whose heart are the highways to Zion,
5  Who going through the barren valley find there a spring,
   and the early rains will clothe it with blessing.
6  They will go from strength to strength