Dear Friends in Christ,

“The Lord spoke to Moses: See, I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with divine spirit, with ability, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, in every kind of craft.

Moreover, I have appointed with him Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have given skill to all the skillful, so that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, and the ark of the covenant, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its stand, and the finely worked vestments, the holy vestments for the priest Aaron and the vestments of his sons, for their service as priests, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the holy place. They shall do just as I have commanded you.”
(Exodus 31:1-11).

By now, you may be getting a bit bogged down in your Daily Bible Reading by all of the instructions and details. In the last half of Exodus, we move from the narrative of God and God’s people, to a bunch of commands, ordinances, and regulations. We read about the instructions for the Tabernacle, the furnishings, the priestly garments, and even a recipe for incense. In the midst of all the fine print and details, we meet 2 craftsmen, Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. These 2 craftsmen are filled with God’s spirit to design and craft the Tabernacle, the furnishings, and the priestly garments. Bezalel and Oholiab are given the ability to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood.

While I was struggling through the instructions and details of Exodus 30-32, I was stuck by this passage about Bezalel and Oholiab. Some folks are gifted with skilled hands, and an ability to do things that many of us cannot do. They may never preach a sermon, teach a class, or tabulate a spreadsheet. But they keep our vehicles running, our houses warm, and the electricity flowing. This morning I saw a tow truck driver helping a stranded motorist. It was cold, and I prayed for both of them as I drove by. I’m glad that God singled out Bezalel and Oholiab, because sometimes we miss the importance of folks who put in a day’s labor by the work of their hands.

Think about someone you know who is gifted with their hands. Call them and thank them for the work God has called them to do, and then pray a prayer of thanksgiving with them. Let me know this week whom you reach out to.

During this Year of Scripture, we will aspire to grow as Christian disciples through three distinct practices:

1. Daily Bible Reading

  • Jan. 29 Exodus 33-35
  • Jan. 30 Exodus 36-38
  • Jan. 31 Exodus 39-40
  • Feb. 1 Leviticus 1-4
  • Feb. 2 Leviticus 5-7
  • Jan. 3 Leviticus 8-9

2. Bible Reflection to help us to become fluent in the language of sacred scripture.

Opening the Book of Faith: Lutheran Insights for Bible Study is a great resource for those called by God to preach and teach God’s Word.

3. Bible Study

Sermon on the Mount Bible Study