We had the privilege again of attending Sunnyside Camp near Sylvan Lake, Alberta, a week-long family Bible camp organized by volunteers under Canadian Japanese Ministries. This was the 3rd time I have attended for the whole 7 days, but it is the 61st camp overall -- an exceptional testimony to the faithfulness and energy that goes into keeping this annual event running each year. It is where many have encountered Christ, deepened their faith journeys, and connected with the larger Body in life-changing ways... including four young women who were baptised at the lake.
The "Tabernacle" (affectionately nicknamed "the Tab", I noticed this year) functions as the main sanctuary of the complex of structures that forms the camp grounds. I have sketched the interior of this building at least ten times over the years, each time providing a moment to reflect on how aspects of the story and character of Christ are embodied by (or parallel) certain characteristics of the structure itself... the humble birth of Christ, his ministry among the common people of a particular time and place, the clarity and complexity and depth of the message, the suggestion of a heavenly realm (or canopy sheltering God's people), the creation of a community of worship, healing, love... this year I noted the Tabernacle as "vernacular" architecture akin to the qualities of Jesus' parables, both addressing the Kingdom of God. "The Tab" is a beautiful structure.
"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD"
Psalm 27:4-6 (NIV)