Friday, May 7, 2010

Taking a Cue from the OT: Spending *Actual Time* With God

Did you ever consider how long it took to prepare sacrifices in the OT?

While reading my way through the Bible, I stumbled upon one of my favorite accounts about Gideon. Instead of a usual reading this time, his careful attention to sacrifices stood out to me. Even though I've been reading over and over again about people offering sacrifices to the Lord, suddenly I thought, "Wow. Those things took a LOT of time."

"Gideon went in, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meant in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak."
Judges 6:19

It's so tempting for me to read right over these type of passages. The writer could have just written, "And then Gideon went in and prepared an offering to sacrifice before the Lord." But the writer doesn't say that. Instead, there is a nice little detailed description about the exact offering given.

But besides what he put into the offering, just think about how long it took him to do so. It wasn't a ten-minute devotion, or a lofty half hour prayer. It probably wasn't even an hour of worship. I bet it took this guy the better part of his afternoon.

*gulp*

I tend to pat myself on the back for just getting up and spending maybe twenty minutes with God every day... and here these people are, back then in the OT, sacrificing not only their food and livelihoods, but also their time and energy. And I mean, lots of time and energy.

Later on in the chapter (and I recommend re-reading this account in Judges 6 if you have time), God asks him to tear down an Asherah pole. Gideon takes (read this) ten men and spends basically all night tearing it down, and then rebuilding an altar to the Lord.

I feel like I have lots to learn from this Gideon fellow.

5 comments:

  1. how convicting and how true. We really need to take our time and spend much more time with our wonderful Creator and Lord and Master. Thank you for telling me what I needed to hear.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting--I've spent part of my morning at this conference on the learning and the brain learning some about the importance of movement in learning/attention and its varied, positive effects on the mind.

    Potentially because of that, I'm keyed in to the fact that--yes--it was *hours* that Gideon spent preparing his sacrifice and thus worshipping the Lord.

    However, look at all the movement! Look at the variety of tasks which require discreet but related engagement of the whole person!

    As the Church in Christ and without the law, we don't have the same kind of official forms of worship that include our whole person.

    But that can be a sad thing! We then feel bad that we can't spend 4 hours sitting in one place and talking with the Lord.

    I'm encouraged by this passage of scripture to start thinking about how I could create my own meaningful rituals to worship and give glory to the Lord.

    I think involving the WHOLE person--mind body spirit--is important. First, because we are whole beings, and God desires all of us.

    Second, because without advocating some sort of works-righteousness, DOING things is important! We are embodied. Christ is God *incarnate*. We are to be incarnations of his spirit. The body matters.

    I need to remember that in worship!

    That'd be a fun brainstorm to collaborate on: what sorts of acts of worship could we DO--ones that might even extend for hours?

    let's hear it for multi-sensory WORSHIP! (because we're being educated as sons and daughters of God, right? he's our teacher? life is our classroom from which to learn of him? :) )

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my goodness, Jess! "Look at all the movement." "Involving the WHOLE person." YES!! AMEN!

    This is TOTALLY what our arts retreat was about. The visual artists actual did create vessels in which they put "sacrifices" to the Lord-- things they wanted to offer up to God. The whole weekend was about using our whole selves to worship our Father, and to understand him better.

    We are going to be meeting as a group every 4-6 weeks, whomever can make it. We're just going to continue to let this arts ministry grow in whatever way the Lord will have it grow! So even if you can't make it to every meeting, or the yearly retreat, you should really come out at some point. It's right up this alley.

    Our next meeting is May 9th (this Sunday) from 1:30-5:30 at Eastern U. It's mother's day, but if you're around, you should come!

    ReplyDelete
  4. how convicting and how true. We really need to take our time and spend much more time with our wonderful Creator and Lord and Master. Thank you for telling me what I needed to hear.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting--I've spent part of my morning at this conference on the learning and the brain learning some about the importance of movement in learning/attention and its varied, positive effects on the mind.

    Potentially because of that, I'm keyed in to the fact that--yes--it was *hours* that Gideon spent preparing his sacrifice and thus worshipping the Lord.

    However, look at all the movement! Look at the variety of tasks which require discreet but related engagement of the whole person!

    As the Church in Christ and without the law, we don't have the same kind of official forms of worship that include our whole person.

    But that can be a sad thing! We then feel bad that we can't spend 4 hours sitting in one place and talking with the Lord.

    I'm encouraged by this passage of scripture to start thinking about how I could create my own meaningful rituals to worship and give glory to the Lord.

    I think involving the WHOLE person--mind body spirit--is important. First, because we are whole beings, and God desires all of us.

    Second, because without advocating some sort of works-righteousness, DOING things is important! We are embodied. Christ is God *incarnate*. We are to be incarnations of his spirit. The body matters.

    I need to remember that in worship!

    That'd be a fun brainstorm to collaborate on: what sorts of acts of worship could we DO--ones that might even extend for hours?

    let's hear it for multi-sensory WORSHIP! (because we're being educated as sons and daughters of God, right? he's our teacher? life is our classroom from which to learn of him? :) )

    ReplyDelete

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