I don’t think the editors of my reading plan could have a designed it this way, but maybe. But, then again, maybe not. There’s just been too many times when the different readings line up that I can’t imagine how you would coordinate them all. Unless, of course, the coordinator was a divine Coordinator.
Anyway, I know this morning’s confluence of readings in 1Kings and Ephesians has caught my attention before. But I don’t think I’m any less amazed by the “coincidence” and the implications.
First, reading in 1Kings 6 and the description of the temple Solomon builds for the LORD. As I usually do when I read this passage, I pull up an artist’s rendering of the temple to look at while I read. Helps me take the technical details recorded in God’s word and see a picture of the magnificence of the finished product in God’s house.
And as I’m reading, I’m struck again that God cares about where His glory dwells. We saw that back in Exodus, through the elaborate instructions given for the tabernacle in the wilderness. And we see it here, through the painstaking, God-breathed, eternally preserved description of what Solomon built. God’s house is a big deal!
And that sets me up for this morning’s Ephesians reading and for these verses in particular:
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
(Ephesians 2:19-22 ESV)
Come on people! That’s gotta get ya’ excited!
The church, she isn’t perfect, but she is being built into a holy temple, a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. And in Scripture, dwelling places of God are a big deal!
You can take your mighty cedars of Lebanon, your planks of cypress, your slabs of chiseled stone, your rooms of gold, and your towering gold-covered cherubim–take it, in all it’s magnificence, and hold up to the church, and it pales in comparison.
Blocks of granite and marble replaced with living stones, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone. Cedars of Lebanon supplanted by an old rugged cross. Gold-plating perishing over time, unlike the blood of Christ that covers forever those being made into a holy temple in the Lord. The curtain blocking the holy of holies in Solomon’s day torn from top to bottom today so that all who are brought into His new and improved, blood-bought priesthood–the household of God–might enter boldly before His throne of grace.
Sure, we’re still a work in progress. But what a work! And the finished product will be beyond what we could ever imagine!
Not because of who we are, but because of what He’s done. Not because of what we’ve done, but because of who He is.
We are the church. A holy temple in the Lord. A dwelling place for God by the Spirit. And that, my friends, is a big deal!
By His grace. For His glory.