This post was almost not included on this blog. After all, I try to write about family outings across Nebraska, and I know that not everyone who reads this blog is of the same Faith that I follow. Yet as this “Tabernacle Experience” has had in its own odyssey through Nebraska, appearing in McCook and Kearney (and also across the United States), I think that it is fitting to appear here. Plus this was a significant outing for our family. If you are a practicing Jew or professing Christian, you would definitely be blessed to walk through the Tabernacle. If you are simply curious about matters of faith or enjoy walking through history, you would also enjoy this event.
For ten days, the Old Testament Tabernacle is in Lincoln. Now you did not miss a major historical find. This is simply a reproduction of the Old Testament structure that traveled with the Israelites during the time of the Exodus. Our whole family visited this event this past overcast Saturday. Actually I was a bit concerned that we would be drenched by end of the “tour,” but thankfully the rain held off!
This Tabernacle Experience was created using the dimensions and guidelines found in the Old Testament of the Bible. In case you are unfamiliar with this part of history, the Tabernacle was a specially built tent with sectioned corridors that traveled with the Israelites after they left Egypt during the time of the Exodus. As a Theocratic society, this Tent of Meeting guided Israelite life as they met with God here. This was the centerpiece of Israelite life.
For traveling and logistical purposes, this reproduction has ten foot walls for the outer courtyard boundaries, rather that the original fifteen foot walls. Additionally as the original tabernacle contained ornate tapestries as well as a plethora of gold, more common materials were utilized due to practicality. Yet with the courtyard width dimensions being maintained and the biblical specifications being followed, you can get a picture of what the Israelites would have experienced as they camped around this Tent of Meeting.
This is the sign that greets you before you enter. To take pictures of the interior is not permissible, and I was glad for that request. I purposefully left my phone (with its camera) in the car. Experiencing the Tabernacle can only happen without distractions. Walking through in pairs, each person is given a set of headphones that guide you through the experience. Both an adult version and a kid version of the tour is available. As I walked through with my daughter, we listened to the dramatization of the Old Testament prophet Samuel as a child “telling” us about his experiences. The adult version is also very meaningful according to some dear friends of ours who also walked through on Saturday.
This experience is recommended for school age children and above. Our 5 year old walked through with my husband. When asked what he remembered most about the experience, he said nothing. Yet we both feel that he actually absorbed much more than he was willing to share. If you have wandering toddlers or preschoolers, bringing them along might be stressful. Yet as you move along to ten different stations, if you have a young child who is easily engaged, you could bring them along. Another group of dear family friends brought their three year old along with her three older brothers, and she did just fine walking through the area.
To cover transportation and other expenses, the cost of the “Tabernacle Experience” is $5 per person or $20 per family. We felt that we would much rather spend that amount of an event of spiritual significance to us than investing that amount toward movie tickets of a flick that we may not even remember months from now. This tour will be the basis of many a discussion in our home.
The event is taking place at the Youth for Christ Lincoln location at 6401 Pine Lake Road. Reservations, which can be made at YFC Lincoln: Tabernacle Experience are highly recommended. If you attend during a busier time such as evenings or next week-end, you may very well have to wait. Tickets are handed out upon arrival. Despite arriving 5 minutes before our “appointment,” we still waited at least 30 minutes before getting to start our tour. You can sit and wait under the provided tent or peruse some of the tabernacle memorabilia for sale under the adjacent tent.
Having red heads, I liberally applied sunscreen since this is an outdoor event. Yet enough of the tour is inside the tabernacle tents that I would not have needed to do so. Seating is also available at various stations if someone has trouble walking around for the 45 minute tour. Headphones are provided, or you can bring your own earbuds if you prefer.
You can watch this specially prepared video to learn more:
To learn more of my own personal reflections on this experience, you can visit my other blog: The Sacred Line