Sunday, October 29
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
The temple that Solomon built was not simply a house in which to worship. It was built to honor the covenant between God and God’s people. It was a place to house the Ark of the Covenant – a reminder that God was their God and they were God’s people. The temple itself was never meant to be worshiped – it was meant to give the people a place to worship the God of the covenant.
What is taught in your place of worship? It is a place where the tapestries are more important than the people who like or dislike the tapestries? Is it a place where the “shoulds” and “should-nots” speak louder than the covenant of forgiveness? Is it a place that excludes outside groups to preserve the integrity of the carpet?
Or is your place of worship a place where people of different colors, genders, ages, sexual preferences, or abilities share the same pews? Is it a place where the cries and coos of children are holy noise? Is it a landing place where disciples then go out into the world to do God’s work? Is it a place where God’s covenant with the world is proclaimed, and God’s love is honored and accepted with humility and grace?
There is nothing inherently wrong with golden cherubim with giant wingspans or antique altars donated by generous memorial gifts of ages past. The question is whether people put in perspective the things of the building and recognize the building is a meeting place to celebrate the covenant God has made with us.
Narrative Lectionary Text: 1 Kings 5:1-5; 8:1-13
Now King Hiram of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father; for Hiram had always been a friend to David. Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying, “You know that my father David could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune. So I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name.’
Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the ancestral houses of the Israelites, before King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lordout of the city of David, which is Zion. All the people of Israel assembled to King Solomon at the festival in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests carried the ark. So they brought up the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up. King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered. Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the most holy place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering above the ark and its poles. The poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside; they are there to this day. There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone that Moses had placed there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, when they came out of the land of Egypt. And when the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.
Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. I have built you an exalted house, a place for you to dwell in forever.”