I have often reflected on what it would have been like to have been alive in past centuries. In particular, I have wondered what it would have been like to have been living through the time of Exodus or even the Book of Acts.
There is something truly intriguing about what it may have been like and to experience for myself the journey of the Scriptures, even in part.
I love the concept of dwelling in tents around the Tabernacle and being close to the presence of God that was found in the Holy of Holies (Leviticus 16 verse 2). Imagine hundreds of thousands of people camping together for forty years, all trying to cling to a faith in the God that freed them from Egyptian captivity.
Perhaps I love the concept of it, but actually being there might just be a very different story! Lots of people everywhere, day and night, constant noise, an unknown future, whinging and whining, not to mention the limited food supplies. What a test of character that would be.
What I do love about such experiences in the Old Testament is the concept of being together and literally journeying together. Maybe we have lost some of this togetherness in our 21st Century Christianity. What does that even look like in my home, in my church and my community?
Back in Exodus they were literally on a very lengthy wilderness trek together, learning and living life together. Today we live our separate lives and try to journey together, when it suits us or is convenient.
I love the word 'journey' and I love the word 'together'. These words make me think about the social climate of how God intended us to walk as a disciple. The New Testament clearly identifies the idea of being together.
In Acts 1 verse 15 it tells us that Peter stood up among about 120 believers who were together in one place and he addressed them. At this time they prayed about and appointed a new apostle.
In Acts chapter 2 verses 44-46 the Bible tells us the believers were together (NIV). It goes on to say they had everything in common. They shared possessions and helped out those who didn't have enough. They met together every day in the temple courts, broke bread in their homes and ate together with lots of joy.
We more often than not have something to get to...we fill up all the gaps in our diaries. To linger together and take a true journey takes too much time and eats into our schedules. I'll put my hand up as an offender. I've often always got somewhere to be. My schedule is fairly full. But nothing can be a substitute.
Yes, I need to spend time sharing with unbelievers. Yes, I need to spend time working or volunteering. Yes, I need to do my role as a mum and wife well. But don't forget to sit and eat and fellowship and pray with believers regularly. The journey will be worth it.
Laura Veloso is wife to John and the mother of 3 young boys. She is trained in child welfare and primary school teaching and has experience in overseas missions and youth leadership.
Laura Veloso's archive of articles may be viewed atwww.pressserviceinternational.org/laura-veloso.html