[They] began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it. (Ezra 3:2)
AS OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS grew, a new room was renovated for us. We wondered about the use of our old class site, and someone suggested a “prayer room.” A portion of the old altar from the sanctuary was placed next to a wall. Above it was a picture of Christ and around that were listings for prayer requests, answers to prayer, and special salvation needs. It was a place that invited anyone to enter and to talk with our Lord.
Altars have always been significant. Their purposes include both a place for meeting God and a memorial to recall a significant event. The first recorded altar was built for worship after the flood (see Gen. 8:20). Gideon built one as a memorial for the time God appeared to him (see Judg. 6:24). The Jews we read about here in Ezra had been in captivity and now took the opportunity to start worship again as they once did. The altar served both as a place to meet God and as a memorial.
We can have altars in many places. Our churches are ideal sites, but I have also worshiped at my desk or on a mountaintop. While in captivity, some of the Jews continued to worship God in another land. The invitation is for you and me. After all, God is everywhere and there all the time!
Create a special place to meet and talk with the Lord.
Edwin Wiles is a retired science instructor from Kernersville Wesleyan and Surry Community Colleges. He enjoys his wife and family, reading, photography, gardening, and his church family.
© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.