Reflecting on Solomon
(Solomon) The time has come and now I must succeed my father as King. My father, a great warrior, has pushed our enemies out of this land that God has given us and now it is high time I build a temple for him. We desperately want God's presence to be among us because we know just how much life that brings. When we find ourselves in God's presence we thrive, but when God has been stolen from us, or we find ourselves without him, the best of life still seems like death.
We're already off to a great start. King Hiram of Tyre has already blessed us with as much wood as we need to build the temple. I'm ready for this project to be completed but I know it's going to take several years to do it. But it's all worth it to have a home for the presence of God to live in. God brings us life and blessing unlike anything this world has to offer.
Reflecting on Jesus
(Jesus) The people don't understand that I am the I AM. The presence of God doesn't need a building to live in. In fact, my Father is going to put his very Spirit into the people and they'll walk the presence of God around as living temples. I AM here as God in the flesh so the people can see God moving amongst them. I tell them that if they'll tear down the temple that I can rebuild it in three days. They scoff because it took Solomon seven years to build, and then forty six the second time they built it. They don't understand, but I'm talking about my resurrection. When the presence of God is around, resurrection is around and I'm on a resurrection mission in this world, breathing life into all things broken, hopeless, and dead.
Reflecting on Paul
(Paul) It's unfathomable that our very bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. How and why God would choose to dwell in us is a mystery, but I know what it is that he wants us to do. Preach Christ and live out our own resurrection. God wants and will eternally dwell with us and that'll bring us life unimaginable.
This retelling is based on 1 Kings 5:1-10, 8:1-13; John 2:19-21, 1 Corinthians 6:19
Understanding what it means for the presence of God to be among us is a game changer. God doesn't want a visit from us once a week where we go sing a few songs, hear a sermon, and say a prayer. God wants his presence dwelling among us in our every day lives. He want's his presence as the Holy Spirit living inside of his because God genuinely wants to be with us. God is a God of love and he knows what his love does for the human condition. His love has the power to take brokenness and turn it into hope. His love has the power to take death and turn it into life. His love has the power to take the unforgivable and turn it into forgiveness. It's the very presence of God in a place that causes everything to thrive.
As Jesus followers, we have been co-missioned with Jesus himself to take the presence of God into the world. We have the Father watching over us from above. Jesus walking with us side by side. And it's the very Spirit of God, the one that raised Jesus from the dead–giving us eternal hope, living inside of us. My prayer is that you've experienced resurrection power in your own life. The kind where God has taken something that's made you feel like God's not even around and then all of a sudden he's burst on scene. I pray that you'll take the presence of God in your own life and take it on a walk. May you cross paths with someone else needing the presence of God in their own life.
How does this help us love God more? I'm dumbfounded that God would want to put his Spirit inside of us. We don't deserve it and can't earn it. He does it simply because he loves us and that should cause us to reciprocate that love.
How does this help me love others better? God put his Spirit in us as living temples for a reason. It's to bring his presence to all around us, so we always need to keep the temple doors open.