Lent · Priest's Perspective

Lent 2021 9 March and Ark of salvation not a temple of religion

The building of the Temple is a different theme altogether, but I want to think for a moment about the difference between building an ARK of Salvation and a Temple of Religion. For me, the building of the Temple in Jerusalem by Solomon brought about or was a result of a sad shift in thinking, and if you read Nathan’s comments to David on building the Temple: 2 Samuel 7:4-7.  “Are you the one to build for Me a house to dwell in?  For I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt until this day, but I have moved about with a tent as My dwelling.  In all My journeys with all the Israelites, have I ever asked any of the leaders I appointed to shepherd My people Israel, ‘Why haven’t you built Me a house of cedar?”

Building the Temple in Jerusalem was man’s idea not God’s. You see the body of Christ is meant to be the temple, 2 Samuel 7: 12 and 13. “I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for My Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.  God is talking about Jesus not Solomon and a people who would be called by His name;” Not a gold gilded building, not a fixed way of thinking, not a cast in stone mindset, for we are a pilgrim people, following God’s lead and going where God sends us.

The ark had no rudder and no sail and yet it came to rest at God’ chosen destination. I am not saying that we must be blown by every wind, but that we must be moved by the Spirit of God to do what God requires. Just as in the desert when the people moved when God called them to move and camped when they were told to camp, we need to be prepared to move with God’s Spirit. This is what repentance is all about, realigning ourselves with God’s plans, his will and his desires for us.

Salvation is a Ark of love, not a temple of self righteousness.

challenge: What is God saying to you and your approach to your life in Christ, as you read this reflection on the Ark?

Let us pray to the Lord.

Loving God,

as we float on the deep waters of life,

we seek the consoling love of Christ, to be our salvation.

Free us from all prejudice and fear, and strengthen us to trust you.

we choose faith and not fear and surrender ourselves to you this day.

Amen.

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