Numbers 9:15


"On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony; and at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning" (Numbers 9:15 RSV).


The imagery reminds me of the ways in which the Lord guided the Hebrews through the wilderness: a cloud by day and a "pillar of fire" at night (Exodus 13: 21). Metaphysically, we understand "the tabernacle" to represent our own identity as beings of Spirit. It represents the place on earth where the human and the Divine can come together. Jesus teaches that each of us is a tabernacle, each a combination of the mortal and the spiritual. The Lord of our own beings sometimes seems to be as dark as a cloud when we're facing challenges. Yet the same awareness of ourselves as Spirit can, at other times, be a bright light guiding us forward.