Back to Posts
Jan 19, 2015

90 Day Challenge – Day 19

Sarah Christmyer

Just Getting Started? Read what you’ve missed and check out Bible reading resources

Bible Time Period: Egypt and Exodus

You freed your people from slavery in Egypt so they could worship you: Free me from sin so I can serve and worship.

Reflection

God gave Moses a heavenly pattern to copy in building the Tabernacle:  a movable “tent” they would take with them on their journeys and that would house his presence.  This is significant:  God—the same God we saw create with a word in Genesis 1-2, the great “I AM” of Exodus—plans to live with them!

There are many details in these chapters.  You may read quickly through them, noting the highlights (the things they were asked to build and their purpose).

Today’s Reading

Exodus 25-28

Today’s Question

The focal point in the Tabernacle is the Ark of the Covenant, the earthly throne of God and the place of his presence.  What do you learn about it here?  What, if any, symbolic meaning can you find in the details?

Join the discussion below!

Has Ascension's free media strengthened your faith?
You can now offer ongoing support for this content with a recurring gift.
Support Ascension

Get your favorite Ascension content sent right to your email!

  • My sharing shall be on the symbolic meaning of the Ark, a research that amazed me, copied here verbatim, in order not to misinterpret the author, Joshua Tilghman. The author said,

    First of all it is important to realize that Moses never constructed a golden box known as the Ark, and he
    didn’t converse with a separate omnipotent being above the Mercy seat. Rather these components of the Exodus narrative describe something that happens in your head on the way to your own Promised Land.

    The true Ark of the Covenant rests atop your shoulder. More specifically, the Ark represents your brain. Even as Jesus was crucified at Golgotha (the place of the skull), representing part of the ascension process that takes place in your head, so too does the Ark. And
    in order to truly commune with God, that communion must take place within the confines of your mind. As we’ll soon see, communing with God has nothing to do
    with talking with a separate being. It has much more to do with becoming ONE with something much bigger than you!

    As Jesus said stated: “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us…” (John 17:21). How could the church preach the above verse any way but metaphysical?

    Now let’s break down the image of the Ark. Two Cherubim faced each other on top of the lid. But what’s significant here is that the wings of the Cherubim are spread over the ark, covering and protecting what lies beneath. There is one on the left and one on the right. Now consider that your brain is made up of a left and right hemisphere. The covering of your brain is the cerebrum. So just as the Cherubim
    covered something significant inside the ark (the brain) so too does the left and right cerebrum cover some very important glands that serve as a link between our physical and spiritual natures. One such component is the pineal gland, also known as the third eye.

    For more details, please click link:

    http://www.spiritofthescripture.com/id790-the-true-meaning-of-the-ark-of-the-covenant.html

    • This is certainly a different take on the Ark than I have ever considered…Will have to give this much more thought…on the physical reality of the Ark…I believe there was an Ark, and Moses did converse with God on the Holy Mountain about its formation…this is a central belief of the Jewish people…our own tabernacles are taken from the idea of the Ark, and since it is mentioned in the story of the Crucifixion that the “veil was torn” this refers to the veil in the Ark…it was opened so to speak so that man could now enter into the presence of God, which he was not able to do in Moses’ time. And though we are truly called living temples…the presence of the Ark within us is as it was described without some consecrated changes made by Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection seems questionable to me.

    • I found this article very disturbing. I did check out the biography of the young man who posted the article. He seems to be a young man who has bolted away from tradition. Tradition is one of the strong ties that anchors me to the Catholic Church.

      • My posting is in fact a very good opportunity for objective consultation in this group and I welcome both sides of commentary, an opportunity for me to go deeper in my faith to inquisitive like a child. Our Catholic faith in dealing much on symbolism and it is really hard to tell a marginalized belief and we are ask in faith to test every spirit not as a gullible person. We cannot be so judgmental so quick in the name of humility and I kindly ask some patience to Barbara and Luz to please not to rush to a judgment, since these people though they may have different faith from us still they our brothers/sisters in Christ, the remain worthy in human dignity ans we are commanded to love even our enemy. For those who are of the different belief from us, it is body that that we are brothers/sisters but not in soul or spirit.

    • I respect your research ethic, Jose, and I do like to question that which I do not understand. But I am in a place in my faith growth – particularly as it relates to Scripture – in which I prefer to research and understand what the Catholic Church teaches about interpretation, signs, symbols and tangible artifacts. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, for example, helps us to understand typology in paragraphs 128-130. I try to remember that Scripture is not necessarily historical fact, but is true nonetheless. What does this mean concerning the Ark? I cannot find where the Church teaches it did not exist, or was merely symbolic. I have not looked very hard, though, because I am way more interested in how this perfect Ark foreshadows Mary, the perfect and sinless woman, true Ark of the Covenant. I believe in all the Church teaches concerning Mary and how she housed the true Bread of Heaven, perfect High Priest with all authority. Honestly, I cannot think that the Ark was not real, since I believe Mary, perfectly sinless, is real.

      • Yes, indeed. The ark as a prototype of Mary is so cool. Mary is for us what the ark was for Noah and his family. A maternal boat of safety to navigate the destructive waters. And she housed the Lord, as you said. If she is good enough for the Lord, she’s good enough for me.

    • Mr. Tilghman presents a unique personal perspective on the
      Ark of the Covenant, one that is very different from the traditional Catholic (and Protestant and Jewish) teachings on the subject – all of which affirm the physical existence of the Ark as well as the fact of Moses speaking to God face to face according to Scripture.

      You will read as we go on, how the Ark led the people into battle, was captured and restored, and eventually a permanent “house” (Temple) was built for it in Jerusalem. The Mercy Seat atop the Ark was the place where the High Priest would sprinkle blood every year on the Day of Atonement (see Lev 16). God’s presence rested there as on a throne – sometimes visibly, as a cloud, assuring the people of His presence. The Ark was so important to the people of God as the seat of God’s presence, and to the nation of Israel and its liturgical life, that it’s hard to imagine how Judaism could have developed as it did if the Ark was merely a symbolic thought representing something else.

      The Ark of the Covenant has been lost since the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem (according to 2 Maccabees 2, the prophet Jeremiah hid the Ark in an unmarked cave).

      As with many actual things in the Old Testament, there are symbolic levels of meaning as well–especially when we read the Old Testament in light of the New. Christians have long seen in the Ark a type of Christ; Catholics also see in it a type of Mary who carried Jesus the bread from heaven (manna), the high priest (Aaron’s rod), and the living Word (10 commandments).

    • Jose, I don’t understand why you are bringing up an article written by a young adult who has left the church, considers himself spiritual, and is doing his own independent interpretation of the bible. Before I research a topic, the first thing I do is look at who the author is, before I start reading the article. There are a lot of inaccurate articles written out there, we must be careful!

      With that said, I am sorry to admit that I found the article you posted very troubling and very confusing (I am referring to the author’s comments). I didn’t realize it was written by a non-Catholic until I read your entire post and looked at the website you provided. I was taught to do bible study with other Catholics or our church, so that the interpretation of the Bible may be according to the teachings of our faith.

      Maybe we can make each other aware at the beginning of a post if information provided is coming from a non-Catholic: )

      • Thanks Luz for your views, they were surely considered in this journey of faith as to separate true from fake beliefs is like forging it on fire or too difficult.. We cannot be too fool and gullible to believe it instantly. Test every spirit is necessary.

  • It was hard for me to imagine what the true ark of the covenant looked like so the symbolism of everything described regarding the art work will need additional research.
    However, I would think that God gave the chosen people this unique gift to remind them of God’s presence that was with them daily. The chosen people were nomads of the desert for quite a while, and assuming the people would be more attuned to surviving each day rather than think of their spiritual well being, the ark was a constant reminder that God was with them. He is so loving and takes care of His people always.

  • Jose Samlin, I liked reading your idea here, as I found the whole reading, I was questioning in my head: Why would God tell Moses to build all this with so much “gold and glitter”, besides anything, they were nomads and how were they to carry all this? I guess I am too practically minded!!? So Yes I like the idea of God meaning within you and your head and your own connections with Him, is what He is referring to, rather than a physical structure!? I did read the other comments too and Beverly, I see you mention there WAS an Ark built! Does anyone know how it looked? How heavy it was? I am just curious now? It sure is a lot to imagine!

      • Thank you Jose!! It sure is beautiful!! But I just like to “see God” in simple things, and Relate to Him in nature and flowers and animals, not silver and gold!? As I said I find it way too materialistic for the God I know! I get what everyone is saying- but I do like the interpretation you found best!!

    • Helen, remember all that Gold and Glitter was brought out of Egypt. It was collected from the People as an offering to God, It is also ironic that they still had enough ” glitter” to make a Golden Calf” I too thought a lot about the weight of the Ark and it being carried for forty years in the desert.

      • I find it particularly interesting that the people had collected all this gold and silver from the Egyptian people – remember God said they would be predisposed to giving it to the Israelites when they left. Two choices, as the Israelites have in the desert: we can take the material gifts we have been given and sacrifice them for the glory of God, or we can amass/hoard our wealth, turn it into an idol and worship it.

        • That is what I was thinking, give it all to God, He knows how to use it best! If only I could do that with my own material goods I would be a good steward of all that I have been given!

  • If you believe the words of the bible, you have to believe that the Israelites built this ark as God commanded and the Promised Land was a REAL place God intended to lead them to, not just a symbolic place in their head. God doesn’t waste words, Everything He says and commands means something. Moreover, it means something IMPORTANT. He doesn’t speak in the bible just to chit chat or hear Himself talk, like we do. I put more stock in these Exodus chapters than that. The fact that 3 whole chapters of Exodus are instructions on building a fitting place for God to dwell, shows me that this was important to God. God created all matter and saw that everything He created was “good”. He gave us all of our senses, and he uses our senses to speak to us in our pilgrimage on earth. What we see and touch and all the “smells and bells”, so to speak only augment our worship. All these specific instructions for the Ark help make a reality of God’s presence among them, and not something just spiritual in their own minds. If it was only a spiritual journey that “happens in your head”, it would seem like God wasted his breath by going on and on about the Ark requirements. And we should remember that the Israelites were constantly going back and forth and flip-flopping in their fidelity to God. They would believe Him one day, and build a golden calf the next. God knew His people needed something TANGIBLE, something in the world of created matter, to remind them to be faithful and keep their hearts focused on the reality that God was with them. Their faith would wane if God didn’t work miracles in this created world (coming out of Egypt), and I believe their faith would wane again if God didn’t give them the physical reality of His dwelling presence. While I think Mr. Tilghman’s take on the Ark story and its meaning is interesting, I think it reduces this narrative to something obscure and a bit vague, when, in fact, it is a significant part of the Israelites faith and tradition. Having said all that, communing with God does take place in our hearts, and I can’t argue with that! Peace to all of you who are participating in this great bible study!

    • I am not defending Joshua Tilghman, but just to remind you that the words in the Bible (I learned) was not dictated by God to the authors. God uses the talent and faculties of the writers who fallible men and were able to produce infallible books, which is the Bible.

      • Yes, for sure! It’s absolutely true that He uses the mouthpiece of man to convey His truths. It is not a verbatim dictation by God per se, but a dictation from the Holy Spirit nonetheless. We must be careful not to diminish the Word of God because it was written by fallible men. It shows me how thoughtful God is that he would use our inadequate human words to speak to us. We could never grasp the essence of God otherwise. He is so above us.

    • It’s good to be reminded of all you have said, I would add (and this is my own thoughts completely) I like to think about each individual Israelite using their gifts and talents to produce the Tabernacle of the Lord. Each person bringing the BEST they have to offer to God how wonderful it would be to participate in the construction of the Ark of the Lord! In my parish we have Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration and it is such a privilege to be a part of the whole, bringing my thoughts and prayers before Jesus and joining with my brothers and sisters in Praising our wonderful God who patiently waits for someone to come and worship. I remember reading this during Advent, “Shepherds came from their fields to see this wonder that God sent, Wise men came from afar, we have only to step inside of a Catholic Church and there HE is waiting for each one of us to come and adore Him!”

      • Thank you so much Gig Rose for making the connection to adoration. We have one perpetual adoration chapel where I live and it is a blessing to our community. I love the following words written by Fr. Lasance in 1917:

        “Let us have compassion for poor Jesus who out of love for us waits day and night for visits unpaid, prayers not offered, and love that is not shown.” (Prisoner of Love).

        And let us remember to bring all the children in our lives to adoration as well.

        • Occasionally I have been asked to introduce the children at our Catholic Elementary School to Adoration. Such a privilege, these little ones are so open to worshiping the Lord. They may not do everything “right” but they are so sincere it brings tears to my eyes. If only their parents would realize the benefit to spending time with our Lord, bringing before Him all our concerns raising our children.

          • God bless you for doing that. God’s blessing will rain down upon you and the school for your efforts. Children’s adoration is my passion…there are many resources out there.

  • I totally understand what you saying Helena.It was specific for the Israelites at that time!
    It just to me seems soooooo “materialistic” and God is NOT materialistic at all! I guess that is what got my head going!? To me God is ALWAYS present, no need for gold and silver to be aware of His presence!

    • Our question for today was to see if we could find any symbolic meaning. For me, as a Catholic, I see the following connections with the Church today and this is my interpretation:

      1. All the gold and silver, gems, jewels, royal colored linens – means nothing but the best for God’s dwelling place. It’s not that God is materialistic. After all, He created all of it and it belongs to him in the first place. He gave man dominion over creation and wants us to freely give back to Him the “first fruits” to honor Him, lest we make ourselves like God and WE become materialistic by keeping it for ourselves. It is for our good that he created everything, and it is for our benefit to give everything back to Him in gratitude. It keeps us in the proper mindset of our position before God the Father. That’s why I dislike plain, boring church buildings. It doesn’t raise my mind and heart to God. His Eucharistic Presence deserves a beautiful, awe-inspiring dwelling, worth of a King. I think these Exodus chapters teach us that.
      2. The gold cherubim figures – the figures themselves weren’t the ACTUAL cherubim, but symbolized them. Reminds me of the statues we have in our Catholic churches of saints and angels. God already permitted “statues” back in these chapters.
      3. The very detailed description of how God wanted the Ark built – Our God is a God of order, not chaos.
      4. The lampstands – our candles on the altar.
      5. The veil/curtain – the curtain that is inside our tabernacles, which conceals the Holy of Holies, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
      6. All the embroidered, royal colored linens for Aaron – the vestments the priests wear today.
      7. The light that burns continuously – the sanctuary lamp that burns in our Churches today to signify Jesus present in the tabernacle.
      8. the altar – goes without saying.

      I’m sure I’m missing a lot more parallels, since I skimmed a lot of this reading. God arranged for his people to take with them array of jewels, silver and gold (see Ex 10: 2-3) out of Egypt when they left. I think that’s because God wanted it for the Ark of the Covenant.

      • Wonderful work on the parallels and symbolism, Helana! Thanks. We must keep in mind that pure gold and silver have the impurities burned out of them – if nothing unholy can approach the altar, if only the purest and unblemished will do, how does this speak of us? WE must bring our firstfruits, our most unblemished and purest gifts, before the Lord. If we do the very best we can in this life to be the disciples we are called to be; if we make every attempt to fully, actively and consciously participate in the Eucharist; if we avail ourselves of all the Sacraments, particularly that of Reconciliation, perhaps we, too, can approach the throne of God when He calls us home.

        • I’m glad you added that part about the impurities. That explains further how to approach the Lord in his tabernacle. Another parallel with the bells on Aaron’s garment could be the bells rung at the consecration, but heard so rarely today. Another way for eternal realities to hit all our senses.

      • I believe that God also wanted the Israelites to give up the idols they brought with them from Egypt. He needed to purge them from the hold the pagan things had on them and turn their hearts to Him only! He can turn the bad into beautiful once your heart is softened to him and bends to loving obedience.

      • I keep thinking that the jar of Manna placed in the Ark must be a parallel to the Holy Eucharist in Tabernacles of today.

    • Helen,
      With the passage of time between Joseph and Moses, the Hebrews adopted the ways of the culture that they were accustomed to, that is the Egyptian culture. Could it be that God utilized this part of this culture to bring forth His spirit and covenant in a way that the Hebrews were accustomed to, that is build an Ark that caught people’s attention from afar whenever the Hebrews traversed the desert?
      As a side note, in this day an age, whenever there is a change at the workplace many people balk at the acceptance of any change.
      God, in His infinite mercy, wanted his chosen people to survive. Could this be one of the ways that he dealt with believers, on the fence believers, and non believers? The Hebrews proved time and time again to worship false gods. This is my interpretation only and will understand if this is a bit far fetched. However, these were a stiffed necked people and God knew that. He wanted their complete love, obedience, and devotion, that’s all.

      • I also think the Israelites needed to “see” God as a reminder of His presence. Without the Ark, God’s presence may have easily been forgotten and the people may have thought that their victories were brought upon on their own, and not because of God’s presence.

    • I completely understand this thinking! My initial “knee jerk” reaction/thoughts as I was reading this scripture were EXACTLY the same. To get past my initial thoughts I had to keep reminding myself that this “container” was holding an equivalent of God himself. It holds the “Word of God”, (inscribed by God himself). The word of god Made Flesh is Jesus. I can not say enough of the link to a Radio Talk Show about the Ark by Scott Hahn posted by Helana. It is well worth the time to listen to all 3 parts!!!

  • I also disagree with the interpretation that the ark was only symbolic. It was symbolic, true; but it was also physically present as well. The physical nature of the ark is a tangible sign of God’s actual presence with the Israelites. The same thing is true of the sacramentals. They are symbolic, but they use physical, tangible objects to make the spiritual aspect concrete.

    • Helana, Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU! for giving us this link! I have always thought highly of Scott Hahn, and hearing his talks about the Ark of the Covenant now, is perfect timing. I listened to all 3 parts and they were worth every minute!

  • As I read these passages, I tried to relate the Ark to the Tabernacle in the Catholic Churches today . Ever since Vatican II the Tabernacle in which rests the Body of our Lord has been moved to the corner of the church (in the church that I attend it is behind where the choir sits. This has troubled me for over 50 yeard

    • Bothers me, too, Barbara. I think the tabernacles should be on back behind the altars where they can be a focal point. People are also confused by how to reverently bow or kneel these days – we bow to the altar out of respect for the sacrifice which takes place there; we genuflect to the tabernacle – where ever it may be in the worship space. At least this is what I have been taught.

      • I wholeheartedly agree. I went to a Mass in Omaha years ago and couldn’t find the Tabernacle. The same thing happened to me in New Mexico and in South Dakota.
        It reminded me of when in the Gospels Mary asked the garden where they have laid her Lord. What a shame some churches have done this that you have to look so hard to find where they have laid our Lord!

      • The Tabernacle at our Church is almost completely hidden behind a screen it cannot be seen from the main part of the church. During Mass the choir is in front of the screen. Actually it is visible only from the handicapped section (where those sit who cannot walk up to Communion) The Catherdral (where I sometimes go and where I went as a child) is the oldest Catholic Church in Boise. As a child it had the most beautiful altar of white marble it was beautifully carved. The Tabernacle had a beautiful marble canape over it. That part of the altar was removed to Mary’s “chapel” so it is still visible but not a focal point as it once was

        • God will not be denied, though, Barbara. Take heart – the good will prevail, will come back around. The misinterpretations of VII will be revisited and made clear. But actually, I LOVE the image of Christ visible and present to the infirm at your parish. Is this not just who Christ made himself most visible to during his earthly ministry?

    • We live in a military community and share our churches with protestant services. After Mass we need to take down all signs of our Catholic Mass: crucifix removed, stations of the cross enclosed in boxes, and the tabernacle is in a smaller Blessed Sacrament chapel. I have mixed feelings about sharing the chapel but I feel like this is a truly financial decision the military has made, and probably a wise one but modern churches are being built with these same financial decisions taking precedent. Long gone are the the ornate altars with the tabernacle front and center. Again, part of me understands this, it’s just sad. I know I truly enjoy Adoration when our church offers this and attending daily Mass in the smaller, Blessed Sacrament where Jesus rests.

      • Here in Idaho there are communities that are so small that the only church in the Community is a Community Church. And yes each demomination removes all signs of their respective religion. However these communities are served by a priest from a nearby (probably about 60 miles away) parish that does have the tabernacle hidden in a corner.
        Even if not ornate the tabernacle can still be the focal point.

  • I notice that in some instances God specifies pure gold and fine linen, but does not specify the purity of the bronze, wood or stones. Although the Israelites had gold, they would have had to ensure that the impurities were removed before they could use it. The instructions are so specific, that if I was an Israelite, I would want to burn the impurities out of all the metals, search for the prefect gems and use only the finest cloth throughout.

    The veil reminds me of the veils in subsequent temples and the cloth inside the tabernacle. The first Israelite priests are ordained and bear the guilt of the people and the plate over Aaron’s forehead enables the sacred gifts so that they may find favour with the Lord. The priests must also make a noise when they enter the tent of meeting and always keep lights burning in the presence of the Lord. Our priests give us the Sacraments, their (and our) Christ-lights shed light on the darkened world, so where we are, so is God. I wonder whether our deeds and works make a little noise like a bell, announcing that our presence in the world before God? I am not implying that we have the same status as Aaron, but wondering whether some of the descriptions could be a template or inspiration of how we may want to live our lives and please God. Maybe my metal is impure, wood warped, gems rough and thread a bit tardy, but none of it is beyond repair to God who can burn out impurities, polish up gems and metals, smooth the wood and gems and reweave the thread. At the end of it, maybe (God willing) I could be a place where He will wish to be.

    • Avila “your metal” is most certainly not impure!, as God made us all essentially perfect in his eyes. He sees us as holy, blemish-less and full of love, Ephesians 1:4.
      I agree that “our metal” gets tarnished and needs to be polished once in a while, but that’s what reconciliation is for.
      God does not specify purity of Bronze because it is basically a Copper/Tin alloy (mostly copper), so it is not something that can be considered as pure. God sort-of specifies the purity/quality of the wood, by specifying acacia wood, which is naturally resistant to fungi, insects, and decay.

  • What struck me most in these four chapters is the descriptive details given to create, build and sew the items used for worshipping the Lord. If we learn nothing else isn’t it so apparent the details describe the importance of the tabernacle and tents down to the vestments worn by Aaron. The specific measurements, types of wood, cloth and yarn used speak to the importance of what was being built. If the tabernacle were of little importance a wooden box made of pine could have sufficed. Instead, the details were so rich and create a vivid picture of our Lord’s intent. I imagine this only helped the Israelites to keep God in their lives and understand the importance of offering up sacrifices to Him.

  • I love to
    read all the discussions. We are sharing
    of what we learnt and practices. We are
    a bite more lucky in down-under (Sydney).
    Most of the tabernacle are still remain at the centre of the Church, and
    it’s easy for us to adore our Lord as we enter the Church. (Very few church has placed the tabernacle at
    the side chapel (or side wing of the Church).
    But a few has removed the
    kneelers (and it’s difficult for me to kneel since I have problem foot). God wants us to place Him in a very important
    place. All these rich colours thread
    represent by gold, silver etc. as knows in human term to place the important of
    Him (as dresses for kings and queens).
    Lets us look back a few chapters and know the Israelite has lived as
    slaves in Egypt, and lost the real present of God among them. They needed to be re-educate how to honour
    and pay respect to the One True God. As
    Sarah has mentioned that Mary has replaced the Ark to house our Lord
    Jesus, we in term will followed Mary’s
    step to be with Jesus in Communion.

  • Sarah thank you, I was wondering if you were checking in.
    I was disturbed reading Jose post also, I kept thinking new age and couldn’t quite focus after reading his post,so thank you for following. I would not want anyone who is newly walking the faith to be lead off path.
    Yes it is sad that sometimes we can’t even find Jesus in his own house but through prayer the Holy Spirit will correct the wrongs of Vat II
    We are so blessed that our God is a God of order and beautiful order at that

    • Thanks Mary for your good views but kind of alert for others. That post does not mean to derail others faith, as at first I was amazed. It was unique and I ended up posting it here in order to know other views. We need to seek truth, purify them as we are meant to be planted in this dark world, but as children of light we can always persevere to find the light of Christ.

  • From what I gathered and taking into consideration the personality of the chosen people as a whole unit, I am not surprised why God did not allow them to choose how His tabernacle would be like. There would be discussion and arguments abound!
    No, God needed to give precise directions on how the Ark and his Tabernacle would be built. Of course, God’s instructions were so thorough for this group of people and I am taking liberty in mentioning the following.

    When reading about His distinct directions, it brought me back to the altar of my youth and the reverence that we were instructed to abide by because the church where I grew up was God’s house.
    The colors that God chose for garments and to adorn His place of worship are the same colors that are used in the Church to this day. The offerings of incense and oils are still prevalent during certain Masses and holy days. What an honor to be part of history, albeit tiny detail like colors, oils and incense!
    But this reaffirms my faith in the Lord and His Word because it has been brought down from generation to generation. That’s quite a few generations!
    I could see me receiving my first communion while I read these passages. What a beautiful memory!

  • I have been reading with interest the discussion of tabernacle placeme. I agree that it should be at a place of honor and clearly visible. At the convent my Aunt belongs to the tabernacle is in front and is made so that the body of Christ is visible when you stand near it. I was told that was so you could look Jesus in the eye and give him your burdens.

    • It is truely sad that due to the increase in crime many of our parish churches must remain locked for most hours of the day. My parish does have an adoration chapel with a combination lock. In order to get the combination you must sign up for perpetual adoration, This is both for the protection of those who spend the hour with Jesus and for the sacred host.

  • Naturally, the readings have a direct lineage from the Holy of Holies to the modern day Tabernacle in the Roman Catholic Church. There is much to be learned regarding the Traditions and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and many of the practices can be traced back to the Jewish heritage of our Church. They speak of the priestly vestments and the reading will continue to give directions as to who can enter the Holy of Holies and the behaivor associated with it., etc. The Tabernacles in our Churches are no different and should be treated in the same lineage as the Ark of the Covenant as it does indeed True Treasure.

  • I don’t think the intended scripture or message chosen is intended to reflect on the ‘Tabernacle’ displayed in many of our church’s. Let us not focus on what can become an idolatry of where the Tabernacle is or isn’t….stealing our focus and let us focus of the depth of Jesus within (or not)….

  • As I read the chapters the phrase “place for God” kept going through my mind. The tabernacle is the place of worship. I was drawn to the place of light in the tabernacle. In our churches there is always a candle burning in front ot the tabernacle. I love the Easter Season when the Pascal Candle burns. The Israelites were also asked to give of the gold, silver, bronze and precious stones that they recieved from the Egyptians to build the tabernacle. Sadly they kept back enough to make an idol. There is a lesson to be learned here. We must hold back nothing from God.

  • Whenever I walk into a church, my regular church or a new church in a different, county, city, state or country, I am always in awe of the presence of God, and so grateful I can be comfortable in any church I walk into. God’s instructions for the first church had to be so concise, with detailed instructions, and after awhile I found myself skimming the readings, but the symbolic message I got from these chapters was the visibility of God in all it’s reverence. The burning of the pressed olive oil, as an eternal light that is carried on in today’s candles keeps out the fear of darkness and evil.

  • I see how important this is, as God went to a lot of trouble to make it perfect. While reading through these passages, I couldn’t think of anything else other than the monstrance in our perpetual adoration chapel. It is old and tarnished and I think it needs replaced. I’ll bring it up with my pastor.

  • Our tabernacle is kept inside our sanctuary, which is the equivalent of the room called the “Holy of Holies”. Once the doors of the Tabernacle are opened, you will find a veil, comparable to the veil seperating the Holy place from the Holy of Holies. We have present an altar “of sacrifice”, and located on that altar you will see candles similar (not Menorahs) to the candles present in the tabernacle. They had an altar of incense where we have a thurible and boat for our incense. There are many similarities-just keep your eyes wide open and you see the signs everywhere 🙂

    • I love the similarities as well. The Judeo-Christians that we are takes new meaning for me each day! Thanks, Anthony!

  • We can compare the Ark of the Covenant, where God dwelled, to Mary, who is called the New Ark of the Covenant. Within her womb, God dwelled in the form of the infant Jesus.

    A few months ago I took Dr. Sri’s study, “A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother”. I learned that we can also compare the journey of the Ark of the Covenant as described in 2 Samuel 6 to Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. David asked, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” (2 Sam. 6:9). And in Luke 1:43, Elizabeth asked, “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?”

    The comparison continues and gets even more beautiful as you read on. “As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal, daughter of Saul, looked down from her window, and when she saw King David JUMPING AND DANCING before the Lord…” Fast-forward to Luke 1:41, “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb…”

    • Yes! So True, there is such a beautiful correlation!!! Scott Hahn also talks about all of the parallels in the link that Helana provided for us. To save time on the first audio recording you can jump forward to approx 2:15 where they first start talking about the Ark.

    • Very inspiring what you said! The Bible is very beautiful in that the Old Testament has types of the antitypes of the New Testament. The Bible is the greatest Truth of all books and the greatest literature book of all books. Mary is the Ark of the Covenant. No longer is the Ark of the Old Testament a holy thing or object. It is in the New Testament seen by St. John as St. Mary, the holiest and pure person without stain or blemish of any sin, original or actual. She always points to Jesus in her many apparitions. She is full of grace and the Lord is within her. She carries the Word of God (not the stone commandments of the O.T.). She carries the High Priest Jesus Christ within her (not the rod of Aaron, the priest of the O.T.). She bears within her the “Bread of Life” the Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ (not the manna of the desert of the O.T.) All the O.T. types are fulfilled in the antitypes of the N. T. with Mary as the Ark of the Covenant and no longer is there a need for the object of the Ark in the O.T.
      With the Incarnation of Jesus in the New Testament, Mary is the instrument of God for man to be redeemed from sin. The Franciscan Duns Scotus spoke of this marvel in the 13th century when St. Thomas Aquinas the Dominican said that the Blessed Virgin Mary has some sin on her soul. But Blessed Duns Scotus hundreds of years before preached the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception which Pope Pius IX declared in 1854 and which St. Bernadette of Lourdes told her that Mary in 1858 had said that she was “the Immaculate Conception.”
      Blessed Duns Scotus stated in the 13th century: “Potuit, decuit, ergo fecit” concerning the Immaculate Conception. “God could do it, it was fitting that he do it, therefore, he did it.”

  • Home of the dwelling place where while in the House of The Lord will allow for the Israelites to come and be physically, and mentally with God. It is a place that brings one to be cleansed by the priests, Aaron and his sons. The priests while at work in the house of The Lord are to wear the robes made specifically for priesthood. While in this dress attire they give themselves to The Lord in holiness to assist others in the ongoing cleansing of self.

    Once I walk into the house of the a Lord here in my hometown or anywhere for that matter I am in awe, inside and, just knowing and feeling God within me even stronger than when anywhere else. I see the details mentioned in this section here at home, the “Holiness of Holy” is most definitely in the Lord’s house – church.

    Such peace, peace of mind, strong presence of God, feeling a part of why life exists, leaving with a sense to strengthen God’s purpose for me in life, the work of the priests….it’s just all so amazing!

  • the-tabernacle-place.com shows models and descriptions of what the details in the readings would build and the layout. My favorite part was the “model” you can buy of the Ark of the Covenant. The angels wings spread across the top is beautiful. It really helped me to see in rich detail, and enhance the reading.

  • >