When the Israelites wandered in the desert they carried the Spirit of the Lord with them. Shored up on poles and trudging through the heat they would carry the Ark of the New Covenant which housed the ten commandments given to Moses. They would follow the cloud by day and the column of fire by night and when they stopped to rest, they would lay down the Ark and make camp. The Spirit of the Lord would come to rest in a tent there, behind a curtain, in the Holy of Holies.
I cannot tell you how often I have wished for that cloud or for that fire to follow. There are an awful lot of moments during which I wish for that holy ground or a bush set afire with the voice of God speaking from it. I would gladly remove my shoes to step foot in that place if it meant getting some face-time, so to speak.
We no longer carry God’s Spirit around with us in containers as we stumble through our own spiritual desert wanderings. We don’t get columns of fire or cloud. Bushes remain decidedly un-blazed. Voices come now still and soft.
As Orthodox we still find the Holy of Holies in our church buildings, we still see the curtain; now drawn as we move into the mystery, now open as we enter in. Holy places still exist, sacred ground can be found and what’s more, we carry around the Spirit of God with us still, only now we are the tabernacle, we are the container, God with us, always.