Week beginning 13th March 2023 God as a migrant
Reading: 1Kings 8:27 – 29. Exodus 25:8
How do we understand God being with us? The Bible tells us that God created all things, and suggests that God inhabits everywhere – heaven and earth. We learn that God accompanied people on their journeys, he was amongst them. The Israelites made a special box called the Ark to carry God’s spirit with them wherever they travelled. So, in travelling with the people god becomes a wanderer, a migrant, travelling from place to place. There are many stories in the Bible of people travelling because God has instructed them to go somewhere to do a task, and God accompanies them.
He guides, dwelling with us as we go through life if we let him. The Old Testament stories do not reveal what God might look like. He appears in dreams; a voice is heard; a bush burns. There is no physical, tangible object representing God, just the Ark to carry –a temporary shelter, a mobile ‘home’. It is when God sends Jesus as a human being that we are able to glimpse more of God, as Jesus comes to dwell among us. The Greek word which we understand as ‘dwelt’ corresponds to a noun for ‘tent’, which can also mean ‘tabernacle’. The Ark of the Covenant was house in the tabernacle. It was the Hebrew’s response to God saying ‘Make me a sanctuary, so I may dwell among you.’ [Exodus 25:8]. The migrancy of God is further emphasised as one of the first experiences following Christ’s birth was the need for Mary and Joseph to flee with him to Egypt.
Reflect: In our day and society do we carry God with us everywhere? Are we conscious of God presence? Do we hear his voice? How do we recognise when God is communicating with us? Are we open to hear the messages? Do we have special places where we find God more easily?
Does the repeating thought in the night prompt us to respond and act? When we are thinking about doing a task which is aimed at promoting our faith, what makes the difference from thinking into action? Is it something we see or hear through conversation with a friend or read a sign in the community? What is it that determines what we will do for God?
Prayer: Help us please to learn the signs when you are asking us to respond. We pray that we are open to your calling, and can trust in your guidance to embark on tasks for you. We ask that you sustain us, giving us energy to keep working until a task is complete. May we always abide in you.