Come Let Us Adore
August 22, 2022
Filed In: Faith
Although I’m a cradle Catholic, I’ve never really read the entire Bible. I learned about parts of it in school, and of course have heard it during Mass, but until this year, I’ve never sat down to study the Bible in a narrative form.
Looking at the Bible, the Old Testament is far longer than the New Testament. It’s the story of the people of Israel, and although I’m not Jewish, it becomes clear how their story is my story. The mistakes that they made in relationship with God are the same ones that I make today. The daily life of the Church is entirely biblical: from the way we decorate our Churches to the prayers we pray.
In the history of Israel, the Ark of the Covenant plays a central role. God dictated exactly how the Ark should be built, decorated, and even carried. Initially, the Israelites were faithful to God’s instructions. But, given time, complacency set in. In the book of 2nd Samuel, the great King David was working on returning the Ark to its rightful place in Jerusalem. We read, though, that the Ark was not being carried by the priests as God asked, but on an oxen-pulled cart.
On the journey, it looked like the cart was going to tip over, and an Israelite man reached out to steady the Ark; God struck him dead. This shocked David to his core, and he became angry with God. Sound familiar? This Israelite appeared to be trying to do something good, keep the Ark from tipping over, and yet God responded harshly. David was so upset and frightened, that he stopped the journey. He left the Ark in the house of Obed-edom, a Philistine.
2 Samuel tells us that the Ark was physically present in Obed-edom’s house for three months, “and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.” This was not a household of the chosen people, but that of an occasional enemy. Yet, in God’s presence, they couldn’t help but be blessed.
In every Catholic Church, all throughout the world, is a tabernacle, an Ark of the New Covenant, God physically present in our midst. He sits there in repose, longing to spend time with us, longing for relationship with us, longing to ease the burdens of our lives with the grace He has prepared for us.
Adoration is an opportunity to enter into God’s rest. It’s a chance to give ourselves permission to not worry, to not fret, to not be concerned with the stresses of our daily lives, but to pause and encounter the eucharistic Christ. Like Obed-edom, when we spend time in God’s presence, we can’t help but be blessed.