What are they made of?
Satiny polished marble. Smooth glowing wood.
Or random piled-up sticks. Or rocks.
We put candles on them, and pictures, and carved images to remind us of God.
But altars have less importance as objects than as places of activity.
Altars are places of sacrifice and worship.
They accommodate joy and pain, celebration and death.
God's people kill in their shadow, then raise the slaughtered lamb in offering.
Ancient priests did it.
Roman soldiers did it.
And every time we raise the knife to our own selfishness, we do it, too.
Mount Moriah. The Jerusalem temple. Calvary.
And the altar at which we worship today does not reside in our church's sanctuary. We have built it, every one of us, in our own hearts.This is where we know the joy and pain of real sacrifice and, when the sacrifice is complete, the peace.
Make an altar of earth for Me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and cattle. Wherever I cause My Name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.--Exodus 20:24