About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Camping with God

Fully furnished Assyrian military tent
with some domesticated animals around.
Summer is coming and with it comes an opportunity to get closer to nature even for us the arch-city-dwellers. It occurred to me that before summer it might be interesting to mention that according the Bible the LORD our God is an enthusiastic camper.
    You might remember that in biblical stories after the people of God escaped from Egypt they wandered in the wildernesses and deserts of the Middle East. God went and camped with them. God’s shrine was a large tent - sometimes called the Tent of meeting, other times the Tent of Testimony, or simply the Tabernacle. We are told that this tent was pitched in the center of the Israelite camp and represented a symbolic residence of God among them. On the way from Egypt, people camped and their God camped along with them. Soon after people settled down and built their permanent houses, God also moved into the permanent and representative dwelling in the Jerusalem temple (house of god).
    Thankfully there are many indications that God didn’t give up camping that easily. Firstly, according to the bible it took several generations after people built their own homes before they finally built the Temple. And secondly, even after the Temple was built, the Tent of Meeting didn’t simply disappear. The Tent keeps appearing in different biblical texts long after the temple was built. Some theologians think that God became seasonal camper, returning to dwell in the tent at least during some holidays.
    And this divine camping disposition did not disappear completely even in the New Testament times. In the first chapter of the Gospel of John we read the famous hymn about the Word which was coming to the World. And right there, in the apex of this beautiful hymn, we can read “And the Word became flesh and lived among us.”  Do you know what? “Lived among us” literally translates as “pitched his tent among us”.
    All this divine camping has a deeper spiritual and religious and also ecological meaning. The ancient tent sanctuary for divine camping was only a pointer to a much larger reality. Listen to prophet Isaiah (40:22)
          It is God, who is enthroned above the dome of heaven,
            all the earth inhabitants are just like grasshoppers.
          It is God, who stretched out the heavens like a fabric,
           and spreads them like a tent to live in;
The entire habitable world is like the largest tent and the sky is its fabric. This divine camping is inseparably connected with the first stages of creation, the stretching of the heavens. A tent sanctuary, a Tent of Meeting, was only a miniature model and small reminder of a true God’s tent - our whole wide world. In fact we live our lives as invited guest in this world-large tent. Remember this majestic mystery when you go out for a hike or when you camp out this summer; think about our camping God, allow that reality to sink in, think about the possibilities of this image..., think about the consequences for our existence and for the world...
          I told you - our God is an ardent camper. God took us along for this romantic and thrilling camping trip. We are guests in God’s tent. How are we doing? How do we behave in God’s tent of this world?

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