Exodus 39 (NRSV)
Making the Vestments for the Priesthood
Of the blue, purple, and crimson yarns they made finely worked vestments, for ministering in the holy place; they made the sacred vestments for Aaron; as the Lord had commanded Moses.
“Dress gives one the outward sign from which people can judge the inward state of mind. One they can see . . . the other they cannot.”
–Queen Elizabeth II, quoted in Class Acts by Mary Mitchell
2He made the ephod of gold, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen. 3Gold leaf was hammered out and cut into threads to work into the blue, purple, and crimson yarns and into the fine twisted linen, in skilled design. 4They made for the ephod shoulder-pieces, joined to it at its two edges. 5The decorated band on it was of the same materials and workmanship, of gold, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen; as the Lord had commanded Moses. 6The onyx stones were prepared, enclosed in settings of gold filigree and engraved like the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the sons of Israel. 7He set them on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, to be stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel; as the Lord had commanded Moses.
8He made the breastpiece, in skilled work, like the work of the ephod, of gold, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen. 9It was square; the breastpiece was made double, a span in length and a span in width when doubled. 10They set in it four rows of stones. A row of carnelian, chrysolite, and emerald was the first row; 11and the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire, and a moonstone; 12and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 13and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper; they were enclosed in settings of gold filigree. 14There were twelve stones with names corresponding to the names of the sons of Israel; they were like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes. 15They made on the breastpiece chains of pure gold, twisted like cords; 16and they made two settings of gold filigree and two gold rings, and put the two rings on the two edges of the breastpiece; 17and they put the two cords of gold in the two rings at the edges of the breastpiece. 18Two ends of the two cords they had attached to the two settings of filigree; in this way they attached it in front to the shoulder-pieces of the ephod. 19Then they made two rings of gold, and put them at the two ends of the breastpiece, on its inside edge next to the ephod. 20They made two rings of gold, and attached them in front to the lower part of the two shoulder-pieces of the ephod, at its joining above the decorated band of the ephod. 21They bound the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a blue cord, so that it should lie on the decorated band of the ephod, and that the breastpiece should not come loose from the ephod; as the Lord had commanded Moses.
22He also made the robe of the ephod woven all of blue yarn; 23and the opening of the robe in the middle of it was like the opening in a coat of mail, with a binding around the opening, so that it might not be torn. 24On the lower hem of the robe they made pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen. 25They also made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates on the lower hem of the robe all around, between the pomegranates; 26a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate all around on the lower hem of the robe for ministering; as the Lord had commanded Moses.
27They also made the tunics, woven of fine linen, for Aaron and his sons, 28and the turban of fine linen, and the head-dresses of fine linen, and the linen undergarments of fine twisted linen, 29and the sash of fine twisted linen, and of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, embroidered with needlework; as the Lord had commanded Moses.
30They made the rosette of the holy diadem of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription, like the engraving of a signet, “Holy to the Lord.” 31They tied to it a blue cord, to fasten it on the turban above; as the Lord had commanded Moses.
After all this talk about vestments, I asked my family to name songs they knew concerning clothing. Here are some of their suggestions (some more appropriate than others!): “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” by Joe Nichols. “Wonderful Tonight,” by Eric Clapton. “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress,” by the Hollies. “Underneath Your Clothes,” by Shakira. Now each one, in its own way, is a wonderful song . . . but I am going to give you the most romantic clothing song I know! “Lady in Red” sung by Chris De Burgh. It was released in 1986 and went to #1 in twenty-five countries. HERE it is.
The Work Completed
Colossians 4:17 (New International Version)
“See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”
32In this way all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished; the Israelites had done everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 33Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its utensils, its hooks, its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; 34the covering of tanned rams’ skins and the covering of fine leather, and the curtain for the screen; 35the ark of the covenant with its poles and the mercy seat; 36the table with all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; 37the pure lampstand with its lamps set on it and all its utensils, and the oil for the light; 38the golden altar, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance of the tent; 39the bronze altar, and its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils; the basin with its stand; 40the hangings of the court, its pillars, and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court, its cords, and its pegs; and all the utensils for the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of meeting; 41the finely worked vestments for ministering in the holy place, the sacred vestments for the priest Aaron, and the vestments of his sons to serve as priests.
42The Israelites had done all of the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 43When Moses saw that they had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded, he blessed them.
”There are two things people want more than sex and money — recognition and praise.”
–Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
A capable leader —
- makes those who are working with him or her feel important and appreciated,
- excels at creating opportunities to provide recognition and thanks to his or her staff,
- creates a work environment in which people are valued and rewarded.
Moses showed himself a good leader by blessing the people who had accomplished their work.
Who are the people helping you accomplish your work? How can you recognize them, thank them, and bless them? Should you be careful to do such more often?
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.