"The tent of meeting, with the camp of the Levites, shall set out in the center of the camps; they shall set out just as they camp, each in position, by their regiments."
One could make the case that the first two chapters of the book of Numbers are actually quite boring. Chapter one lists the census taken by the twelve tribes of Israel - tribe by tribe. Chapter two lists where each tribe was to set up camp: east, south, west or north. Oh joy.
But stuck in the middle (literally & figuratively) are the Levites. They are the one group that was not required to be counted in the census. They were in charge of the "tabernacle of the covenant" - the holy objects... the worship life of the community. When Moses set out the camping arrangements, the Levites were put in the middle, along with the Tent of Meeting (aka "worship space"). They even listed them in the middle of the assignments: tribes in the east... followed by tribes in the south... followed by the Levites in the middle... followed by the tribes in the west... followed by the tribes in the north. How organized!
So what, you say? Maybe it's nothing more than just a thorough list. Maybe their place in the middle is solely a move for their best protection. Maybe. Then again, maybe there's a deeper truth here. Maybe worship MUST be the center of our lives?! Maybe we should do more to "protect" our worship life... guarding our time spent with God and other believers in regular worship... rather than it simply being "something we do when we have the time."
How close to the center is worship to my life? Good question.