May 29, 2021

God's Dwelling-Place

We ponder your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple.

Psalm 48:9
The temple in Jerusalem was a building. But, of course, it was more than that, for it was the only temple to Israel's God and was thought of as God's dwelling-place on earth. People who lived far away would make pilgrimages to the temple, and though the trip was arduous, the journey was joyous for those who made it, for they knew at the end, they would experience their God.

New Testament theology respected the temple, of course. Jesus even drove from it those who were using it for selfish reasons. But what Jesus hinted at, Paul said explicitly: The real temple—God's real dwelling-place on earth—was the body of Christ. And by extension, this referred to the church... not a church building, but all those in all times and places who confess Jesus Christ as Sovereign.

We aren't perfect, of course. But Christ is at work in us, changing us from empty husks without purpose to a dwelling fit for God's Spirit. Thus may our minds be filled with thoughts of God, may our eyes see one another as God sees us, may our mouths speak the word of Christ, and may our hearts express the love that we have been commanded to feel for one another, for neighbors near and far, and even for our enemies.

Christ is building you into a place where God lives through the Spirit.
 Ephesians 2:22 (CEB)
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
God be in my head, and in my understanding; God be in mine eyes, and in my looking; God be in my mouth, and in my speaking; God be in my heart, and in my thinking; God be at mine end, and at my departing.
 Salisbury, 16th century
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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