Somewhere in the house I share with my lovely wife Cherry and daughters Carli and Whitney is a small, fireproof safe. I probably should know where the safe is but I don’t. What I do know is that in this safe are several things that are precious but of limited value to anyone else, things like birth certificates and marriage records. I consider these as the most precious of all the “stuff” that I have. They capture part of my heart and soul while representing people and relationships that are priceless and irreplaceable. I can imagine a thief, stumbling across this small box, and then wondering aloud why we would protect “these things”! I can see the thief shaking the head, pausing for a moment to consider what defines life.
Each of us holds things close to our heart that others cannot imagine to be of value. The same is true for God. John records a scene that at the very least makes one wonder, and more frequently causes a pause and reflection.
“The doors of God’s Temple in Heaven flew open, and the Ark of his Covenant was clearly seen surrounded by flashes of lightning, loud shouts, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a fierce hailstorm.” (Revelation 11.19)
What is it that the Ark represents that he cannot replace? Is there something important hidden within?
I don’t know in the big scheme of things if the pieces of paper that document our marriage or record the births of our children are terribly important. They are precious for me because of what they present! These are the relationships that define a large part of my existence. The heart of who I am as a person is represented by the bonds and experiences. My priorities and values can be found here.
God isn’t so different. The Ark of his Covenant can be replaced. What cannot be replaced or substituted is what it represents. The Ark brings form and shape to words like love, mercy, compassion, grace, and unconditional acceptance. Priceless gifts; freely available to you and me.