Just finished the Book of Exodus. I am always amazed at the artisans involved in the design and manufacture of the elements of the Tabernacle. Gold filigree pounded so thin that it could be cut into threads “tightly twisted into fabric” Never am sure about how well the scriptures are translated in terms of their accuracy language to language, and whether they escaped the tendency of men to elaborate and embellish with folklore.
Yet, when my logical mind goes there, I have only to look at what God did with the Christ, a fleshly tabernacle that fulfilled all the elements of the physical facility that Moses so tirelessly reconstructed each time he moved and ministered to this band of exiles. Then of course my own experience, when in 1973 my life was revolutionized by an encounter with the heavens!
Ironically, as I closed out the last chapter of this awesome book, I received a post from the granddaughter of my early mentor, Woodrow Oxner. It has been ten years since I coached his dear spouse through his final hours and later laid this giant in the faith in his grave. I have to reflect on how much my life has changed since that time.
Here was a man who believed the text literally and demonstrated the power of the God of Moses in his own life. In settings few have experienced, I was there as miracles transpired, lives were changed in an instant, and a city was literally turned on its edge. Not to say that church worked any better then, than now. It seems that the deeper men get involved in trying to take this “own the road” the more error emerges!
As a young man who took his mentor as Moses, I saw the demonstration of a power long lost in today’s congregations. Yes, Leonard, a 70+ year old, actually rose instantly from a comma as I prayed some novice prayer in obedience to the voice that dared me walk into his acute care area at the hospital. Then there were the evenings when I would drive through a neighborhood looking for God encounters, stopping once at random in response to the same “voice”, only to find a widow praying that someone would visit her. Lest I sound like a charlatan, I won’t cite the many financial miracles when stretch gifts were made for the sake of the ministry.
Three dollars’ worth of God seems to be adequate for today’s Sundays, yet there are things happening outside the sanctuaries. God always seems to escape the boxes we build for Him. Whether it be Love Out Loud, the Fierce Conversations now occurring among friends in our city, Marked Men for Christ, the New Canaan Society and on and own. God has a way!
I am watching what seems to be happening internationally, from the financial woes of the PIGS, Putin’s shenanigans, China’s growing power, Iran’s nuclear sword rattling and the Middle East’s volatility. I cannot help but think that the conversations I once had with Woodrow about the end of times may hold truths now lost? Many of my clergy friends just chuckled. Uhmm?