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When I was in elementary school, a new kid moved into our neighbourhood and we became friends. During the school year, our class went on a camp out. That night, as we were in our bunks and supposed to be going to sleep, some of the kids started picking on the new kid. You see, his skin was darker than ours and he had an accent – he was different.

I was so angry at this bullying, that in the loudest voice I could muster, I shouted at them to leave him alone and to stop picking at him. (Insert applause and pats on the back here.) But wait, there’s a little more to the story. it’s the part that haunts me and I wish I could take back. If I ever remember that new kid’s name I will track him down and apologize.

I shouted at them to leave him alone and then I said, “He can’t help it that he was born that way.”

I still feel the sting of shame when I think about it. Sure, it was grade 5 or 6 and kids in grade 5 and 6 say dumb things. Add in the tension and the potential for an actual fist fight and it’s easy for a person’s mouth to get ahead of their brain.

And yet, the truth of the matter is, I wasn’t a very good advocate for my friend.

Have you ever been picked on or accused of something you didn’t do and you wished you had an advocate; someone who would rise to your defence, stand up for you?
I”ve been sharing some thoughts with you regarding God’s sanctuary. The ultimate purpose of the sanctuary is so that God coud dwell with us; he wants to be the centre of our lives. The ultimate message of the sanctuary is that even while we were far away from God, rebellious, angry, and separated, God was demonstrating his love for us through his self-sacrifice.

Next I want to tell you that the good news of the sanctuary is that you have an advocate who is on your side. I’ll show you how beautiful this truth is about God in my next post.