I had my photo taken this Wednesday from one of our people, who wanted to show me with her as her minister, but I had to have my photo taken while still in my white robe and black scarf, from leading the service. The clothes we wear today are nothing like that which Aaron and the Levite priests were called upon to wear. There is the mention of precious stones at various point attached to parts of the robes, the represent the 12 sons of Israel, the twelve tribes of Israel; the people of the first covenant. In Revelation, the New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb is richly adorned, with twelve gates, also made of precious jewels, with the names of the twelve tribes inscribed; but the wall that accompanied the gates had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; the second covenant of which we are apart.
Our story begins with the first people of God, the Israelites, whom the Lord made his precious possession, even in the face of their stubborn disbelief in times of stress; that led to willful disobedience. It continues with the disciples of Jesus, again 12 in number, who represent the new people of God, their mission to go to the people of all nations, people of all cultures, who can become part of this incredible family through faith and trust in Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life of the Lord.
We are part of that history and that journey. These precious stones, attached to the robe of the priests remind us that we are precious in the eyes of the Lord. We may disobey, we may struggle in life, and struggle at times to see the Lord at work, but we are precious, and the Lord always seeks to draw us back to himself, as Bree reminded us last week, for God is steadfast in love and compassion, and as we have seen in the journey of these first of his people, always willing to give another chance. Take time today to thank God for the myriad chances you have been given to be restored into his family.