“I’m Christian but I’m not religious” Belief good, religion bad. It’s a common attitude. But as an exercise in practical psychology, i think it is an unachievable standard, a recipe for madness.
Here, in the longest direct communication by God so far I’m the Bible, speaking directly to Moses on a mountain, God designs the bits and pieces of a religion.
Ark, table and lampstand.
He’s still at it. Jesus turned passover into Easter, and the supper into communion, commanding us to eat the bread and drink the wine when we meet together. Johns gospel is structured around Jesus’ transformation of a series of religious festivals.
I was fascinated in this chapter by the detail of god’s design brief. I mean, he’s the creator so you should expect him to be creative.
And he uses natural forms. Well of course, that’s his style. The lamp stand is to be one piece like an elegant tree, sweeping from base up to flower branches and buds.
And the artisans did their best and got their best gold and made it all as good as they could and as close to god’s instructions as they could. To God perhaps it looked like kiddie art, about as accurate, fine and utterly loveable as a child’s drawings of their parents for mother’s day.
And they got the message that God is important, holy, worth our best, interested in us, enjoys our labour.
And they got structures for expressing their love for him, something tangible to return to after the crushing failure of their sinful greedy natures.
Life is a spiritual journey, our battles are spiritual. Religion gives us a symbolic landscape in which to journey and fight.