2016 Bible in a Year Challenge – week 6 (Jan 31-Feb 6)

ansgar2On Wednesday, Feb 3, liturgical churches commemorate St. Ansgar, who in the 9th century was sent to evangelize Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.  Today, he is known as “The Apostle of the North.”  Here, Ansgar is depicted by the great 19th c painter Gustaf Olaf Cederstrom.

Reading Notes for the Week

The Tabernacle: This week’s passage contains detailed instructions for the creation of the Tabernacle, which was the portable temple that the Israelites carried with them while wandering in the wilderness. As you read, imagine the rich detail, the visual impression that such a structure would have made. Notice that God especially appoints craftsmen and empowers them by the Holy Spirit to make everything that He had commanded. Among other things we learn from these passages, we learn that God cares about beauty, the arts, and excellent craftsmanship.

God With Us: Everything in the tabernacle was designed to communicate that God is with His people. This truth is driven home in Exodus 40 when the glory of the Lord comes in the form of a cloud and settles over the tabernacle. Later Jewish commentators would refer to this special presence of the Lord as the Shekinah, or glorious presence of the Lord. This is the concept that John will appeal to in his gospel when He writes “The Word became flesh and dwelt among men.”

Inclusion of the Gentiles: Much of Jesus teaching in these chapters of Matthew entails a critique of religious hypocrisy and a proclamation that non-Israelites will be allowed to partake in the kingdom. This teaching will come in its fullness when Jesus imparts the Holy Spirit to the church. Then, truly all believers will enjoy the presence of God’s presence in their hearts. Then, by grace, we will experience the glories that were but hinted at by the tabernacle so long ago.

Readings for the Week

Sunday January 31

Old Testament: Exodus 25-26

New Testament: Matthew 20:17-34

Monday February 1

Old Testament: Exodus 27-28

New Testament: Matthew 21:1-22

Tuesday February 2

Old Testament: Exodus 29-30

New Testament: Matthew 21:23-46

Wednesday February 3

Old Testament: Exodus31-33

New Testament: Matthew 22:1-22

Thursday February 4

Old Testament: Exodus 34-35

New Testament: Matthew 22:23-46

Friday February 5

Old Testament: Exodus 36-38

New Testament: Matthew 23:1-22

Saturday February 6

Old Testament: Exodus 39-40

New Testament: Matthew 23:23-39

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