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Day 117

Prayer for the day

May God give us his blessing, and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe of him.

Scripture for the day

1 Kings 3-5, Luke 20:1-26

The Temple. This iconic symbol stood as a testament to the Israelites of the presence of God, of the wisdom of their king (Solomon), and of their greatness and specialness as a people. The temple of God was to stand as a place where the presence of God would dwell and meet with the people, where they could come and make sacrifice, inquire of their God, dedicate their children, and their entire lives to the God who dwelt there.

The temple was supposed to be the place where humanity and divinity encountered one another, a “thin” place between nature and super-nature. It was not a place where God dwelt exclusively, but a place where people could gather exclusively, a sign, a symbol, a signpost of the presence of God among Israel and in the world.

This sign and symbol stood for years as a picture of the “thin” place, until it was destroyed. When the temple was rebuilt it was to be the same kind of place, a place where people could come to meet God. Yet as we see in the Second Testament, the temple was much more. And much less.

It is in the temple where Jesus is questioned about his authority. The religious leaders, in the place that is said to house the Holy One of Israel, the place worthy of the Name, question the nature of the one who sent Jesus, the one who IS the Name, the Holy One. They stand in the symbol, with the presence standing before them, and they do not recognize him. They show us so clearly what missing the point really looks like.

God preserve us from worshipping the symbol of your presence and missing your presence altogether.

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