Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Moses built the Tabernacle so that God could dwell among his people in the desert. Beginning in early June, far from the desert in the lush landscape of Signal Mountain, a team of volunteers will reconstruct a life-size replica of that structure on the grounds of Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church.
Once complete, visitors will be able to renew their faith while submerging themselves in the rituals and atmosphere of Old Testament priests.
If you build it
A ministry of First Presbyterian Church, of Florence, S.C., the Tabernacle is an exact replica of the one built by Moses.
Spectators will experience the life of an Old Testament priest while engaging in the duties and rituals within the Tabernacle. The first step is to be clothed in a white linen garment of the priest. At the Altar of Burnt Offering tourists will lay a sacrifice of wood on the consuming fire. Then, spectators will approach the laver and wash their hands in preparation for the work of the Lord. At the lamp stand people can light an oil lamp and participate in Communion at the Table of Bread. The smoke rising at the Altar of Incense will represent prayers ascending to the throne of God. As the tourist draws back the curtain and enters the Most Holy Place, the journey ends before the Ark of The Covenant and the Mercy Seat.
Dates and times for community self-guided tours through the Tabernacle are: Saturday, June 9 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, June 10 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, June 11 from 1-8 p.m., Tuesday, June 12 from 1-8 p.m., Wednesday, June 13 from 1-8 p.m., Thursday, June 14 from 1-8 p.m., Friday, June 15 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 16 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The tour takes about 45 minutes. A suggested donation of $5 is requested but not required. A maximum donation of $20 is requested for a family. Parking lot attendants will guide people to a parking space. The Tabernacle is handicapped-accessible.
To learn more or to RSVP for the Pastor’s Preview, call Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church at 886-2190. A Tabernacle study guide can be viewed at www.signalpres.org. The church is located at 612 James Blvd.
To learn more about the Tabernacle, read Exodus chapters 30 and 40 or visit www.tabernacleexp...>
“It’s a biblically and spiritually based replica,” SMPC Tabernacle liaison Celestial Allen said. “God told Moses if he built this church that [God] would come and dwell among them. For me, seeing the holy of holies — the place where God dwells — will be the best. We want people to be able to come and experience it today. This is a way to make the history of the Tabernacle come to life.”
She said God dwelt in the Tabernacle in biblical times like he dwells in the hearts of Christians today.
The structure will be 50 feet wide by 120 feet deep and 7.5 feet tall. A total of 365 volunteers will take shifts manning stations at the Tabernacle from June 9-16 so the general public can get a look and take a tour. Visitors will get an up-close view of the altar, laver, lamp stand, altar of incense, table of bread, courtyard and Ark of the Covenant.
“The goal of the tour is for all guests to know even as Moses and the children of Israel discovered in the desert that God the father has made provisions for our salvation,” said Allen. “He chose the Tabernacle to point the Israelites to him. Then he sent his only son to be the final and perfect sacrifice ever needed, the savior to whom the Tabernacle points us. Come give your faith a boost and meet Jesus at the Tabernacle.”
She said those walking through the Tabernacle will wear headsets with audio on a self-guided tour. Hands-on opportunities include walking inside and lighting the lamp stand.
“It’s a church, so it’s very reverent and quiet,” said Allen, referring to the Tabernacle. “People walking through will be given a piece of wood to lay on the altar. People sacrificed things on an altar in the Tabernacle for their sins to be forgiven.”
Opening night will be June 8, titled the Pastors Preview, for all area clergy to stop by at 6 p.m. for the first walk-through.