Our Meeting Tents

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Credit Moses with setting up the first chapel or formal “worship space.”  

Wherever the Israelites set up camp along their journey, Moses would pitch a tent outside the camp. This “meeting tent” was a place for people to go and pray—to “consult the Lord,” as the writer of Exodus puts it. Moses, too, would often go to the tent to pray, and when he did, the people kept watch, knowing that while Moses was at prayer, God was in their midst.  

Moses’ “meeting tent” offers several insights into our own prayer lives. First, we all need a “meeting tent,” a space or time set aside each day to quiet our hearts in the presence of God. Notice, too, that God speaks to Moses “as one speaks to another.” Prayer is our ongoing conversation with God, a constant awareness of God’s mercy and peace in the stresses and strains of our days. As much as prayer is voicing our needs to God, prayer is also listening to God, reflecting on God’s Word in the quiet of our hearts and clarity of our spirits.  

Moses’ “meeting tent” also reminds us that God has pitched his tent among us as well. Our parish church is our “meeting tent” where we come together to encounter God in sacrament and prayer; our homes are “meeting tents” where God dwells in the love and consolation we offer and receive from one another.  

So set aside some “meeting tent” time today to “consult the Lord.”  

And let God do most of the talking.  

© Liturgical Press.

Deacon Jay Cormier

Jay Cormier, a deacon serving in the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, is author of The Deacon’s Ministry of the Word, The Advent Wreath: Blessings and Prayers for Families and Households, and editor and publisher of Connections.

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