We have pitched our tent!
“Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the ‘tent of meeting.’ Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp.” Exodus 33: 7
I spent a couple summers during college and seminary as the director of the high school program at a Lutheran retreat center in Minnesota. On the first day with the high schoolers I did an exercise with the Bible. I held up a Bible and said, “How much of this book takes place indoors?”. Have you ever thought about that? When you think about the stories of the Bible how many of them happen indoors vs outside?
The answer is very few stories in the Bible happen indoors, and yet most of our church experience and faith formation have been experienced indoors. Why have we made this shift and what do we lose by having a predominantly indoor faith experience?
While worshiping outside may be a challenge and feel like it is not normal for us, it is actually quite Biblical and may give us perspective on a life of faith that takes us out of doors and outside our comfort level. While it will be more difficult to meet outdoors during Wisconsin winters as opposed to a more Mediterranean climate, I hope we can take advantage of this experience and the warm weather as much as possible. I hope that being outside may open up the stories of the Bible to you more as you imagine being on the road with Jesus and the disciples, being with Paul as he enters a new city, and tabernacle-ing with Moses at the tent of meeting.
We now have a tent of meeting outside of our church and while we know God will meet us there, we also celebrate that Jesus lives in us and in our hearts and God meets us wherever we are, inside and out!