The reading today is Exodus 24:1-11
“Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship at a distance. 2 Moses alone shall come near the LORD; but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.” 3 Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words that the LORD has spoken we will do.” 4 And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 He sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed oxen as offerings of well-being to the LORD. 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he dashed against the altar. 7 Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” 8 Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people, and said, “See the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.” 9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there was something like a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11 God did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; also, they beheld God, and they ate and drank.”
The high point of this story is that Moses and the leaders of Israel saw God and had a vision of heaven. Yet notice the other things they do. They gather together. They hear God’s word and commit themselves to following it. They give their offerings at the altar. They eat and drink in God’s presence.
That sounds like what we do as church! We gather, hear God’s word, confess our faith, give our offerings, and eat and drink at the Lord’s Table. And in all of this, we see God and have a vision of heaven. Our communion liturgy sometimes describes our meal together as a “foretaste of the feast to come.”
I’m writing these words when we have canceled in-person worship due to the coronavirus outbreak. I don’t know if it will have resumed by the time you receive this devotion in your inbox. Whether that has happened or not, like Moses we can also know that God is with us now and we will be with God and each other forever.
Prayer: Loving God, help us see a glimpse of you today.
Pastor Lanny Westphal
Prayer Concern: those who are outside the community of faith.