Saturday, November 10, 2012

Symbols in our midst

Highest point in Austin, Mt. Bonnell

"How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord!" 
~Psalm 84

My family and I are in Austin, Texas, attending the wedding of dear family friends. As I ponder the wedding celebration and all it entails, I am struck by the thought that we all need symbols. A wedding band. A Bible. A crucifix around our neck. A picture of our children or grandchildren. 

As visible signs or representations of an idea, symbols proclaim that which is most important to us. 

The ark of the Lord's covenant was a small box made of wood, overlaid with gold, and carried by two long bars. In addition to being the repository for the stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, the sacred chest was a powerful symbol of God's presence for the Israelites.

As powerful as this symbol was for our ancestors in faith, the reality is that we don't need a sacred box or even a church to have God near us. God is as near as our next breath, already present and vibrant in our midst. We are God's dwelling place.

What an amazing responsibility! 

We are the greatest symbol of God's presence in this world!