Monday, March 2, 2020
1 Kings 8:22-30
That particular place. Mount Zion is one of seven large hills (mountains) that surround Jerusalem. It is a holy site for Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. And it is where Solomon built Judaism’s first temple. His prayer to God is a prayer that God will watch over the temple … that the temple will be the locus of worship for the people. He also acknowledges before God that there is no place that can pretend to contain the uncontainable God, yet there is this need to have a place.
The truth I have experienced in my life is that there exists in the human soul the need for the particular. A particular place … a particular person … a particular ritual or routine. “Particular” can define something that contains the universal in something small.
While it was true that Solomon would use this particular temple as a means of further consolidating his kingdom, he also saw it as a lens through which people might experience the greatness of God. A lens doesn’t need to be seen. It needs only to clarify and magnify what the viewer is seeing. The temple isn’t about the temple itself … it is about the eternal God. If it does its job, however, it will have fulfilled its particular purpose.
During this season, we might ask ourselves how we can be particular lenses through which to see God. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Paul states: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” We embody the infinite God in our particular bodies, and through our embodiment of God, we have the opportunity to transform the world.
You are the particular place … the particular person … through which others will come to know the God of all creation!
Eternal God, use our particular gifts so others might see you. Amen.