I have worshiped God in a pole barn like structure in the Philippines without sides open to the air. And during the sermon a rooster came strutting across the front of the pulpit. The pastor didn’t break stride, but kept on preaching. I’ve worshiped in an ornate Baptist Church in Ukraine that seats 2300 (see below). Missiologists cite this church as being the largest evangelical church building in all of Europe. I have worshiped in tiny churches here in the United States and some of the largest churches in the evangelical movement. Not once have I seen what we read about this morning.
10 Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them. 11 And he sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its utensils and the basin and its stand, to consecrate them. 12 And he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him. 13 And Moses brought Aaron’s sons and clothed them with coats and tied sashes around their waists and bound caps on them, as the Lord commanded Moses.
14 Then he brought the bull of the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull of the sin offering. 15 And he[ killed it, and Moses took the blood, and with his finger put it on the horns of the altar around it and purified the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it to make atonement for it. 16 And he took all the fat that was on the entrails and the long lobe of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat, and Moses burned them on the altar. 17 But the bull and its skin and its flesh and its dung he burned up with fire outside the camp, as the Lord commanded Moses. (Leviticus 8:10-17 [ESV])
What makes the difference between the churches I have worshiped in and these images above from the dedication of the tent of meeting? It’s the blood of Jesus. We no longer need to go through all those precise tedious acts to please the God of the universe. The blood of Jesus has brought us near to the throne of God. And we can worship with simplicity and with detail and intrigue. We can worship dressed like we’re going to the beach or a formal dinner party. All because Jesus became our sacrifice. The next time you worship Him, be sure to thank Him for the nearness we have to him and His presence to us.
Father God thank you for the hope and freedom of worship because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Thank you for drawing us near. Help us to remember that the next time we worship you. In Jesus close name we pray, Amen!