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This Lord’s Day we observe Communion.
This weekend many will flock to the western side of Minnesota, including Granite Falls, to the “Meander,” an annual opportunity to see local artists’ work. We are attracted to beauty and craftsmanship. When art is done properly, it evokes awe and wonder and affection. This is what God designed his tabernacle to be. Psalm 84:1 says, How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! When God gave Moses the instructions for the Tabernacle, his sanctuary among his people, he wanted the place to be a place of beauty. So we see in it richly colored embroidery; the precious metals like gold, silver, and bronze; and the elements of craftsmanship and precise design. But these attributes of physical beauty really pointed to an even greater beauty of the sanctuary. The real beauty of this place was spiritual. This spiritual beauty was in it holiness and, of course, the fact that it was the place of the very presence of the Covenant God.
In the prayer service, we will return to David’s final prayer of thanksgiving. We’ll begin the service singing Martin Luther’s paraphrase of Psalm 130, “Out of the Depths I Cry to Thee” (Gray 87).
The sermon this Sunday considers the Tabernacle in Exodus 26. I can only speak for myself, but when one reads this passage as part of his daily Bible reading, it can be very easy to let one’s desire to read through the Scriptures at a set pace result in a very dim understanding of what Moses is being commanded to build. For that reason, I will explain how God’s Tabernacle was designed and put together. But I will also discuss God’s purposes in this structure, especially in the two compartments and the veil before the Most Holy Place. It’s hard to overstate the importance of this portable sanctuary. I trust that the message will help us understand God’s purposes for us, and (once again) the significance of his presence with his people.
Call to Worship: Psalm 84:1-4
Hymn 47 [Gray] Safely through Another Week
Congregational Reading: Psalm 43
Scripture Reading: Zechariah 12 & Romans 3:9-31
Hymn 147 [Gray] O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
Sermon: The Tabernacle from Exodus 26
Hymn 280 [Gray] To Avert from Men God’s Wrath This wonderful hymn by John Hus (translated by Christian La Trobe) is really a Communion hymn. Yet it also touches on the basic themes, so foundational to true religion, that we find represented in the Tabernacle. The first verse speaks of Christ’s “full atonement,” which is the fulfillment of the atonement cover or place on the top of the Ark of the Covenant. Hus also speaks of Christ’s “most precious blood,” that which fulfills the blood of the atoning sacrifice for God’s people in that Most Holy Place. Finally, the hymn speaks of our “drawing nigh,” which the priests would do, drawing near to God through the veil, into the Most Holy Place, once a year. Here is the first verse in its entirety: To avert from men God’s wrath, Jesus suffered in our stead; by an ignominious death he a full atonement made; and by His most precious blood brought us, sinners, nigh to God.
The Lord’s Table
Hymn 269 [Gray] My Faith Looks Up to Thee
In Sunday School, Dr. Eric White will teach on Psalm 122.