Skip to main content

God, architecture, and culture

My thoughts were still lingering on architecture and culture this morning. In Cairo Museum, we saw a lot of coffins. Each of them has painting of some guardian creatures with wings covering a large amount of surface to symbolize protection. Our tour guide pointed out that the Ark of covenant employed the same kind of symbolism. In 1 King:

Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the Most Holy Place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. (1 King 8:6)
Between these wings, the Lord met and spoke with Moses (Num. 7:89; Ex. 25:22), and between these wings was the mercy seats where God promised to appear (Leviticus 16:2). These symbols would mean nothing if the receiving end doesn’t click. But of course the Israelites understood these Egyptian symbols for living in Egypt for generations and being assimilated into their culture. God could and was willing to use pagan symbols to get His message across.

The ten plague teaches a similar lesson. Each of them is targeted to take down a pagan god of the Egyptians, like the cobra and the sun. By “speaking” their language, God showed them He is not some new god, but He is the God that is bigger than all of their deities since day one. No one compares to Yahweh.

The Gospel of John tells us that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word became flesh (John 1). Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law because He is the same God yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Misunderstood by the Pharisees, Jesus used the analogy of the temple, knowing its significance in Jewish culture. But Jesus was referring to Himself - the Jews missed the boat. This is good example of getting the form right but the heart wrong.

Today, we could worship our earthly deities in these black box concert hall, theatre, and auditorium; nonetheless, God could use any of these to get His message across. Everything belongs to the Lord and He could reclaim and renew everything. Throughout history, the unchanging God never fails to lower Himself to our level and to speak our language in order to reach us lowly beings. Who are we to say to others that they have to raise up to our standard and/or culture in order to be reached by God and to worship God?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

24 Things about Hinson Lake 24-Hr Ultra

Here are things that went through my mind during the 24-hour run, somewhat chronologically:
"I get a decal, a glass, and a shirt!?" "Where's Peter?" Peter came the night before and set up camps. Sometimes I think he's gifted with 48 hours a day."Wow. People actually do plan to run the whole duration.""Mt. Hinson?" There's a section of the course with a slight incline. I'm sure it's a fitting name at some point approaching 100 miles. I didn't give myself a chance to find out."Haha" - upon hearing someone telling Sharon and I that we are on pace for women's 24-Hour American Record at mile 3."Maybe I should switch to my hybrid shoes." And I did. After the first 13 miles, I switched from my Altra road shoes to the Inov-8 TerraFly for a little more tread."25.84 miles? Eh, so close." 17 laps on the 1.52-mile loop - not quite a marathon."30.4 miles? Eh, another lap to make it a 50k."&q…

WV Trilogy - Part 1

My experience at WV Trilogy is unimaginable. It wasn't just the run or the scenery, though both are spectacular - but more so my journey before and during the run, the emotions, the learning, and the tremendous love and support I get from friends and family. The last three days are not only a running adventure, but an opportunity of personal growth and defining moments which will outlast adrenaline or results.

Each of the journal entry is written after the run on each day. I want to share it chronologically and hopefully could take you through my experience as I have experience it.

(Thurs) Oct 11 at 8:19 pm - 
In my dorm room, in bed. I'm still nervous about my shin splints and calf pain. Both legs were hurting this afternoon. There's nothing much I could at this point but just take everything as it is - pain, race, outcome... My job tomorrow is to simply show up and do what I can. I'm praying to open my heart and mind to whatever God has for me and remember that I'…

OSS/CIA 50M

Three days after my first 50 miler, the OSS/CIA 50M held at Prince William Forest Park, my legs are feeling great while my body is still catching up in recovery. The funny thing is, even though I ran almost twice the distance of a marathon, I felt much better than how I was after my last two road marathons. The slower pace and the softness of trails is much more forgiving than the hard pounding on asphalt/concrete. I was even able to run a couple easy miles to test my legs yesterday.
The OSS/CIA 50M Night Run by Athletic Equation was held at Prince William Forest Park in Dumries, VA, about 1.5 hour north of Richmond. Two things lured me into signing up for my first miler: One is obviously to get at least one 50-miler in before my attempt at the WV Trilogy this fall. Two is the location of the run. The Park is the birth place of OSS, the predecessor to CIA in the 1930s. On the brink of war, U.S. intelligence operations needed a centralized effort. In response to the need, a team of un…