You may have heard the phrase that it takes a village to raise a kid. I know that’s certainly been true for me. I also think it’s true that it takes a village to establish a community where the presence of God lives visibly.
Exodus 35:20 – 21 and 29 says:
Then all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments… All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done, brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.
I think these verses are an exciting picture of what happens when a community of people catches the vision for establishing a gathering place for God’s people. It’s a picture of human generosity, faith and obedience. But it’s also a picture of God’s design for the provision of his visible presence.
The Tabernacle that was being built in this passage was a mobile gathering space where the people of God could worship together in the presence of God. In a sense this was the Kingdom of God being made visible on Earth in the midst of a rebellious culture.
When we give our time, our talent and our treasure to the church, we are not necessarily giving it to other humans as much as we are giving it to the Lord for the purpose of establishing a community where the presence of God lives visibly.
I think it is this truth that moved this community to give of their own free will. They weren’t giving their time, their talent and their treasure away out of guilt or obligation.
I think they were giving their time, their talent and their treasure away because they saw a vision of God’s visible presence among them in the tangible and mobile form of the Tabernacle that would house the worshiping community of God’s people.
So when you give, give in faith. Give expectantly. Give joyfully. Give generously. And give freely. Give because you are catching the vision for establishing a community of people where the presence of God lives visibly.