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Ezekiel 40:20-37, The Vision of the New Temple

Friday, December 15

Gathering Spaces

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

In Ezekiel's vision of the new temple, he was also shown the specific measurements of the inner and outer courts. These were the spaces where the people would gather. It seems having space to gather was a key component of God's vision for Israel.

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A few weeks ago I was picking up some Thanksgiving decorations at the dollar store, when the cashier commented, "You're having Thanksgiving this year." At first, I thought it was an odd thing to say. What American doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving? But then I realized she meant I was "hosting" Thanksgiving this year. It's funny to me because we have no extended family that lives anywhere near us. We live in Minnesota. My family is in California. My partner's family is in Indiana. So we "host" Thanksgiving for just us. Sort of. It turns out we do have family here. It's the many teens and young adults that hang out, eat, sleep, and kinda live at our house. So when I made a grand Thanksgiving dinner for my family of five, we actually fed more like 15. And it made me so happy.

We are created to be social. We were made to live in community, to rely on each other, and to gather. During this holiday season, you will probably attend a party or two. When you do, be sure to appreciate the community you have around you. Be grateful for the people you gather with. These are your people. They might not be blood relatives. (Or they might.) But the people you gather with are family. 

Narrative Lectionary Text: Ezekiel 40:20-37

Then he measured the gate of the outer court that faced north—its depth and width. Its recesses, three on either side, and its pilasters and its vestibule were of the same size as those of the first gate; its depth was fifty cubits, and its width twenty-five cubits. Its windows, its vestibule, and its palm trees were of the same size as those of the gate that faced toward the east. Seven steps led up to it; and its vestibule was on the inside. Opposite the gate on the north, as on the east, was a gate to the inner court; he measured from gate to gate, one hundred cubits. Then he led me toward the south, and there was a gate on the south; and he measured its pilasters and its vestibule; they had the same dimensions as the others. There were windows all around in it and in its vestibule, like the windows of the others; its depth was fifty cubits, and its width twenty-five cubits. There were seven steps leading up to it; its vestibule was on the inside. It had palm trees on its pilasters, one on either side.

There was a gate on the south of the inner court; and he measured from gate to gate toward the south, one hundred cubits. Then he brought me to the inner court by the south gate, and he measured the south gate; it was of the same dimensions as the others. Its recesses, its pilasters, and its vestibule were of the same size as the others; and there were windows all around in it and in its vestibule; its depth was fifty cubits, and its width twenty-five cubits. There were vestibules all around, twenty-five cubits deep and five cubits wide. Its vestibule faced the outer court, and palm trees were on its pilasters, and its stairway had eight steps. Then he brought me to the inner court on the east side, and he measured the gate; it was of the same size as the others. Its recesses, its pilasters, and its vestibule were of the same dimensions as the others; and there were windows all around in it and in its vestibule; its depth was fifty cubits, and its width twenty-five cubits. Its vestibule faced the outer court, and it had palm trees on its pilasters, on either side; and its stairway had eight steps. Then he brought me to the north gate, and he measured it; it had the same dimensions as the others. Its recesses, its pilasters, and its vestibule were of the same size as the others; and it had windows all around. Its depth was fifty cubits, and its width twenty-five cubits. Its vestibule faced the outer court, and it had palm trees on its pilasters, on either side; and its stairway had eight steps.