Friday, February 13, 2004

Court of Gentiles

Dwight and James thought of a court of gentiles has got me thinking. (see dwights response in comments on thoughts and stuff. Thursday February 12) In the ancient temple the Court of Gentiles existed so that people of every race and tongue had a place to worship. However, they could not fully worship. They could not even see the sacrifices. I imagine that often visiting God seekers were lost in this great temple. I imagine what the Ethiopian must have felt.

As I approached Jerusalem I was awe struck by the singing and the reverence. The worship their God yet never pronounced the Name. They simply addressed God as Lord. After we had reached the top of the mountain I found a place to stay. The next morning I went up to the Temple. It was the most beautiful thing I've seen. Lined with Gold and Jewels. It was crowded by the time I got there. I entered the outer courtyard. People were everywhere. They were selling animals used for sacrifice. They were making change into temple script. I saw small groups of people gathered around talking. I did not feel like I could join them. I went towards the doors leading to the temple proper and I the guards told me I couldn't go in. Jews only they said. I was outraged. I had come to worship and was turned away. I walked around trying to listen in some conversations. I finally found one where they did not give dirty looks every time I turned around. They were talking about the law and what we could and could not eat. After a while the conversation turned to Micah and his warnings to take care of the poor. Around nightfall the group was disbanning. They told me they met there every day. I went back. I had lots of questions they could not answer them all. I asked about this text in Isaiah they were just as confused as I. After a week I told them I had to go back home to Ethiopia. I truly was thankful for them opening up and inviting into their group. They admitted when they didn't have the answers. More then once one of them invited me to dine with them this kept the conversation going late into the night. I left feeling excited that people opened up. But I left with more questions. I met this guy named Philip on the way home. He answered so many questions and introduced the man Jesus to me. I just wish he had been there at the Temple. But I got home having found two great communities. Both answering my questions both needed.

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