How life is Built, or How a Temple is… the oft overlooked secret

devotional thought of the day:The Pantheon, a place once dedicated to worship of idols but reborn to host the worship of God.  May our lives tell a similar story as we realize what God does to us in baptism!

7  The stone blocks for the building of The Temple were all dressed at the quarry so that the building site itself was reverently quiet—no noise from hammers and chisels and other iron tools. 1

2  “About this Temple you are building—what’s important is that you live the way I’ve set out for you and do what I tell you, following my instructions carefully and obediently. Then I’ll complete in you the promise I made to David your father. 13  I’ll personally take up my residence among the Israelites —I won’t desert my people Israel.” 14  Solomon built and completed The Temple. 1 Kings 6:7, 12-14 (MSG)

74         You are not happy because you make everything revolve around yourself as if you were always the centre: you have a stomach-ache, or you are tired, or they have said this or that… Have you ever tried thinking about Him, and through Him, about others?  (1)

It is ithe plan of the Masterbuilder that all of the business of making rough rock into perfectly fitting, polished stone be accomplished in the stone quarry.  There, beyond this place, beyond that door, is only the assembling of what has been done here. (2)

I have read of Solomon’s building of the temple many times, the dedication of that temple is one of m favorite portions of all of scripture. The gathering of God results in God’s presence being so manifest, that smoke fills the temple, and no priest can offer any sacrifice.  The people of God pray, and are forgiven.  Others come and pray, and God makes Himself real to them.  God and people.

Yet in the midst of the work, verse 7 gets overlooked, it gets lost in the details, in the glory, in the imagery. I never even bothered to ask why the work was done in the quarry before.  

Thinking on it now, as the son of a man who build tons of stone walls (literally) it amazes me.  To so carve the rock as to be sure of its fitting, to so care for the work as it is transported to the temple mount, to then be fitted into place, perfectly.  It is mindblowing to think of this with lasers and high power saws and polishers, but this work was done with chisels, and hammers, carved lovingly by hand. And in the temple, even as it is being build, reverent silence…It is built in peace, the joining mortar laid, the stones carefully put in place. Peace, quiet, solemnity.

No wonder the building of the temple of God in its fullness happens outside the walls, outside even the city, the noise of the hammers pounding not heard within its walls.  The only noise to be heard there, the tear of a thick curtain….as the Holy of Holies is revealed without its glory.  Without the ark, for that which fulfils the covenant, that glory is hanging, nailed to a tree.  The Body given, the Blood poured out, the sins forgiven, forever.  And peace reigns as the shadows come, and darkness falls…….

To often we don’t wait to get to the silence, to see the glory of God – to know His peace.  We are too busy with our issues, with our ailments, with that which pounds and shapes us, Fr. Josemaia is right, we focus on the now, and we don’t see the temple being build, we don’t see God put each one of us in place.

We don’t see the plan, the beauty, the glory coming together because we choose to live back in the quarry, rather than to see where God has put us in His living temple. To trust Him at His word, at His promise. To realize that we aren’t in the quarry, really, Hear how Paul says it…

1 Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, you must look for the things that are above, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. 2  Let your thoughts be on things above, not on the things that are on the earth, 3  because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. 4  But when Christ is revealed—and he is your life—you, too, will be revealed with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 (NJB)

Though we may think we are not finished yet, those who believe have in many ways left the quarry, and are sitting here, in the temple, just waiting for Christ to put us in place.  That is where our life is, and we are encourage to see it that way.  Our life, shaped and designed and lived out in Christ. We’ve taken some pounding – He has taken more for us. We are in His presence, in a place where the pounding has already been done. We have been delivered and saved… and my prayer for you, is that you realize this more and more, and live in the peace and serenity that is found in Christ.  For be assured,

6  And so I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (TEV)

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 531-534). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

(2)  Northumbrian Community, Celtic Daily Prayer  (devotions from Finian readings for April 5th

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on April 5, 2014, in Devotions, The Furrow and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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