With the celebration of Jesus' Incarnation at hand, our community, Haus Bethanien, is setting up a prayer room for the surrounding community. We have chosen the Incarnation as our theme, and, as our guide, we are using aspects of the symbolism of the Feast of Tabernacles, the Jewish festival instituted by God to foretell of the Incarnation. The Feast commemorates God's presence with and protection of the Israelites as tent-dwelling nomads in the wilderness. God's Messianic promise to be a God who is with us is often intertwined with the symbols of the Feast and is a theme which runs throughout the Old Testament. Doug Ward as written a short but wonderful article on this topic. And, of course, Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of the Feast - when He came and "tabernacled" among us. I particularly like the verse from Revelation 21:3: "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.'"
There are three main symbolic elements that arise out of the Feast - you can read about them more fully in the article. They are water, light, and fragrant herbs. We are creating three "booths" in which the participant can encounter one of these elements as a point of meditation on the Incarnation. A labyrinth on the floor representing our life as pilgrims here on this earth will lead to each of the booths. The prayer room will be open all week for visitors. We hope this will be a reminder of His presence which dwells with us and that it is this Presence that we celebrate.