Creating space to connect with God
In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
- Ephesians 2:21
The temple had a very particular set of purposes. The temple held the people of Israel together and served as a center for their national identity. More than that, the temple stood as the particular place where God had chosen to meet regularly with his people. To be unable to go to temple – in a way – rendered one incapable of fully and most deeply connecting with God.
The temple experienced hard times over the years. Corrupt kings would allow it to fall into disrepair because they channeled all of the funds intended for its upkeep into their own coffers. Warring armies stripped the temple of many of its riches. Ultimately, the temple was torn down, rebuilt, and torn down again.
In today’s passage, we’re told that the Christian community in all its beautiful diversity becomes a new temple. We – the messy, the broken, the (at times) embarrassingly foolish – God has chosen to make himself know to the world through us, to meet with people through us, to identify with us.
God has given us a temple mission. Our mission isn’t to erect big buildings (though we may do that in pursuit of our mission). Our mission requires us to join together across the chasms that would try their hardest to divide us, to join together in the power of Jesus and in his name, to join together and rise so that everyone everywhere would have an opportunity to connect with God.
How does your connection with your fellow Christian create space for others to connect with God? How is your experience of reconciliation a witness to the world?