Replicas of the Ark

David and all Israel were dancing before God with all their might, with song and lyres and harps and tambourines and cymbals and trumpets.

1 Chronicles 13:8
Nothing in ancient Israel was holier than the ark of the covenant. It was said to contain the tablets of the law, the rod of Aaron, and a pot of manna from heaven—symbols of God's authority, guidance, and kindness. Thus, the ark was the very presence of God in the midst of Israel.
During the days of King Saul, the ark had been neglected, and the nation languished. But when David came to the throne, he called for the ark. And as it was brought to its rightful place of honor, he and all Israel danced and sang and played music in celebration of the nearness of God.

God's presence is celebrated in a different way by Christians. When God sent the Holy Spirit, it was as though each believer was a replica of the ark, for each of us is filled with God's authority, guidance, and kindness. This is why Paul told the church at Philippi to rejoice—not just some of the time, but at all times. Our rejoicing is not to be wild and triumphant, but gentle and thankful. We rejoice because of God's presence within ourselves. But just as importantly, we rejoice because we see signs of that same presence in our sisters and brothers in Christ.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
 Philippians 4:4-5
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Fill me with thanksgiving for your presence in my life, O God, and fill me with joy when I encounter your presence in another.
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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