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David Hershey’s Newsletter

February 5, 2021

Imagine it is one month from today. As you wake up in the morning, you feel more in touch with God’s presence in your life than you do right now.

What did you do to become more aware?

What practices did you begin to perform?

What habits did you build?

What things did you need to stop doing?

Now, looking ahead, will you take such steps to grow in the next month?

Ancient Pathways Podcast

This week we are on episode FIVE of the Ancient Pathways Podcast! In this episode, I discuss God’s dwelling with humanity from the tabernacle and the temple on through to Jesus and the Church. A big thanks to Dan Lohin, CSF alum and friend, for giving me his old microphone! Dan was upgrading, and his old microphone is an upgrade for me. Let me know if you notice an improvement in sound quality.

You can find the podcast on Spotify, ApplePodcasts and Stitcher. Or go right to the website here:

https://ancientpathwayspodcast.buzzsprout.com/

So far we have learned about God creating and creation’s brokenness, God’s call of Abraham to be the instrument through which all creation is restored and last week, God’s rescue and liberation of the Israelites in Egypt. You can find all the episodes at those links above.

Read the Podcast?

f you prefer to read rather than listen, you can read the podcast on my blog as an article. These posts are essentially the scripts I use to create the podcasts. Here’s a taste:

The first half of the book of Exodus is a narrative telling how God saved Israel from slavery in Egypt. Most of the second half of Exodus is centered on instructions from God on how to build a large tent, called the tabernacle, that the people would take with them as they traveled towards the promised land. The tabernacle would be their place of worship on the journey. Or, to put it another way, the tabernacle would be the place where God met with them. It was the place where heaven and earth touched.

These instructions for building the tabernacle are one place where people attempting to read straight through the Bible get stuck. Its not the most riveting stuff; its a lot of instructions on the size of poles and how to cut the curtains correctly. What I want to focus on are the two passages that bracket these instructions and that reveal the purpose of this tabernacle. First, in Exodus 25:8-9 God tells them why they are to make the tabernacle: “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.” The next fifteen chapters are tough to read, as they are filled with lots of details on how to build the tabernacle and all its accessories. Though, as a side note, right in the middle is the story of when the Israelites got tired of waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain and they make a golden calf to worship. This reminds us that, like Abraham, the Israelites are a broken people. Nevertheless, God will dwell with them. At the end, after the tabernacle is complete, we read of God taking up residence within it: “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34-35).

Think back to Genesis 1 for a moment. God is creating a cosmos in which he will dwell with humanity. God created humanity not out of necessity, but out of love , and thus God desires to live in relationship with people. Of course, as we learned above, this goal was derailed due to human sin and rebellion. God has been on a rescue mission since Genesis 12. Here, at the end of Exodus, we reach a high point in this rescue mission. The break between heaven and earth in Genesis has been healed in the tabernacle. Once again God is dwelling with humanity as was always the goal.

Read the rest here.

A Quote to Reflect On:

If you need food or clothes, do not be ashamed to accept what others offer you. To be ashamed to accept is a kind of pride. But if you have more than you require, give to those in need. It is in this way that God wishes His children to manage their affairs” - Evagrius of Pontus writing in the 300s (Source: The Philokalia)

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Campus Ministry Update

The students began the semester all virtual. Next weekend students will be returning to campus, with in person classes beginning on February 15. For now this will not change our Thursday night meeting plan; we will continue to meet online. That said, I am sure the students would love to meet in person and with our numbers a bit down this year anyway, we can probably meet in person while social distancing and meeting other PSU requirements.

One of the nice things about meeting virtually is that the PSU Brandywine and PSU Berks students can meet together. If we meet in person at PSU Berks, I will need to figure out how to continue to include the PSU Brandywine students.

Please pray for wisdom in all of this.

Our study of Acts has gone well these first few weeks. Please pray for the leadership team (Emily, Nate, Ayo, Danny) as they try to plan some events and activities that would bring people together.

Look for a fuller update about campus ministry in my newsletter in two weeks!

Snapshots from the Snow:

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Some Helpful Resources

Since the podcast is on God’ dwelling with us and God’s presence, I want to share my THREE favorite books on spiritual disciplines.

First, Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline is basically a classic and covers the most traditional practices such as solitiude, silence, scripture and prayer. Second, Tish Harrison Warren’s Liturgy of the Ordinary. I love how Warren writes with a focus for normal, everyday people. She deftly takes these traditional practices and applies them to normal life. Sometimes spiritual practice seems like something only for monks or super-Christians. Warren, who is also just a fantastic writer, helps regular people see the disciplines for them.

Warren writes: “The one who is worthy of worship, glory, and fanfare spent decades in obscurity and ordinariness. As if the incarnation itself is not mind-bending enough, the incarnate God spent his days quietly, a man who went to work, got sleepy, and lived a pedestrian life among average people.”

If you’re not a reader, check this interview with Warren out.

Finally, Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Graham Hill’s book Healing our Broken Humanity focuses on practices that are essential but not often mentioned in traditional practice, such as Lament, Hospitality and Justice. There is more of an activism focus in this book and it serves as a wonderful compliment to the other two.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jemar Tisby’s book How to Fight Racism. I just finished this a few days ago and I highly recommend it. Here’s a video study to give you a taste:

How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice, Jemar Tisby

Need Coaching?

I am working towards certification through the International Coaching Federation with my training through the Professional Christian Coaching Institute. In this, I desire to come alongside workers in non-profit organizations (such as the campus ministers with CSFPA) as well as anyone who needs help getting out of a rut. Coaching helps you set goals and take actions to develop both in the workplace and all of life. My dream is to meet you where you are at and do all I can to help you move forward.

If you, or anyone you know, wants to look into coaching, follow this link:
https://dmlhershey.com/coaching/

Thanks for reading!

God bless,

Dave

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