Exposure: Read God’s detailed instructions for the decoration of the Tabernacle. Go through your home and examine the Christmas decorations you have. If you haven’t decorated, take this time to decorate to celebrate this important season.
Exploration: Why do you think God was so specific about how to decorate the temple? What significance or symbolism do you think these decorations must have had?
Expression: Discuss with friends or family or journal about the meaning and significance of your existing decorations. How can your decorations speak to the focus you’ve placed on Christ?
Experience: Create a new ornament or decoration that can represent how you feel about your relationship with Jesus this year.
Offerings for the Tabernacle
25 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the people of Israel to bring me their sacred offerings. Accept the contributions from all whose hearts are moved to offer them. 3 Here is a list of sacred offerings you may accept from them:
gold, silver, and bronze;
4 blue, purple, and scarlet thread;
fine linen and goat hair for cloth;
5 tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather;
6 olive oil for the lamps;
spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense;
7 onyx stones, and other gemstones to be set in the ephod and the priest’s chestpiece.
8 “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. 9 You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.
Plans for the Ark of the Covenant
10 “Have the people make an Ark of acacia wood—a sacred chest 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high.[a] 11 Overlay it inside and outside with pure gold, and run a molding of gold all around it. 12 Cast four gold rings and attach them to its four feet, two rings on each side. 13 Make poles from acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings at the sides of the Ark to carry it. 15 These carrying poles must stay inside the rings; never remove them. 16 When the Ark is finished, place inside it the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant,[b] which I will give to you.
17 “Then make the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—from pure gold. It must be 45 inches long and 27 inches wide.[c] 18 Then make two cherubim from hammered gold, and place them on the two ends of the atonement cover. 19 Mold the cherubim on each end of the atonement cover, making it all of one piece of gold. 20 The cherubim will face each other and look down on the atonement cover. With their wings spread above it, they will protect it. 21 Place inside the Ark the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, which I will give to you. Then put the atonement cover on top of the Ark. 22 I will meet with you there and talk to you from above the atonement cover between the gold cherubim that hover over the Ark of the Covenant.[d] From there I will give you my commands for the people of Israel.
Plans for the Table
23 “Then make a table of acacia wood, 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 27 inches high.[e] 24 Overlay it with pure gold and run a gold molding around the edge. 25 Decorate it with a 3-inch border[f] all around, and run a gold molding along the border. 26 Make four gold rings for the table and attach them at the four corners next to the four legs. 27 Attach the rings near the border to hold the poles that are used to carry the table. 28 Make these poles from acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 29 Make special containers of pure gold for the table—bowls, pans, pitchers, and jars—to be used in pouring out liquid offerings. 30 Place the Bread of the Presence on the table to remain before me at all times.
Plans for the Lampstand
31 “Make a lampstand of pure, hammered gold. Make the entire lampstand and its decorations of one piece—the base, center stem, lamp cups, buds, and petals. 32 Make it with six branches going out from the center stem, three on each side. 33 Each of the six branches will have three lamp cups shaped like almond blossoms, complete with buds and petals. 34 Craft the center stem of the lampstand with four lamp cups shaped like almond blossoms, complete with buds and petals. 35 There will also be an almond bud beneath each pair of branches where the six branches extend from the center stem. 36 The almond buds and branches must all be of one piece with the center stem, and they must be hammered from pure gold. 37 Then make the seven lamps for the lampstand, and set them so they reflect their light forward. 38 The lamp snuffers and trays must also be made of pure gold. 39 You will need seventy-five pounds[g] of pure gold for the lampstand and its accessories.
40 “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.
Rediscovering the Christmas Season