Devotional Thought of the Day:
16 Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you? 1 Co 3:16 HCSB
1 How lovely is Your dwelling place, LORD of Hosts. 2 I long and yearn for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God. Psalm 64:1-2 HCSB
37 How does this sanctifying take place? Answer: Just as the Son obtains dominion by purchasing us through his birth, death, and resurrection, etc., so the Holy Spirit effects our sanctification through the following: the communion of saints or Christian church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. In other words, he first leads us into his holy community, placing us upon the bosom of the church, where he preaches to us and brings us to Christ.
King Solomon once asked if there was ever a place God could fit in.
As I read the readings quoted this moring I thought of Solomon’s words at the dedication of the temple, and as I read that we were God’s sanctuary, I didn’t think about it in view of a huge cathedral’s sanctuary, but the place for someone seeking a home, seeking a place where you “fit in”, where You were loved. To quote the old song from the show “Cheers”, the place where “everybody knows Your name”.
A sanctuary is a place where you are at peace, where you can rest, and be yourself. Where it is safe. Where you are worry free and free to discover who you are, and live as you were meant ot live. Some people mock those described as “millenials” for wanting such a place, for struggling to understand this world and the chaos we have seen it become.
Yet even as the Psalmist desires to be in the dwelling place of God, (something I resonate with a lot, as I struggle with my own sin and the sin of the world) I find it comforting to know God seeks this place as well. That God would look for His safe place, the place where He would be who He knows Himself to be, to create and find every part of His sanctuary. God is far more desirous of that place than we are, and the extreme measures He will go to create that place, to found the place where He fits in, to dwell in the place where everyone knows (and praises) His name.
People reading this may think that I am picturing God as a wimpy needy person, just as they picture the millennials who they berate and mock. The need for a safe place and a call for it by the younger adults of this day is not about them being wimps, it is about their keen sense of the dissonance that sin causes, the brokenness that our hearts and souls cannot tolerate.
And neither should ours.
We, especially those in the church, should be crying out to God, to make His presence know, to help us to understand that He dwells in our midst, that we are the sanctuary we so eagerly seek out. We can, by the power of the Holy Spirit, see those out searching for a place, drawn to Him, pointed there by our words, by our lives. For this church is the place we find ourselves in the heart of Christ, and it is there, as the Spirit dwells in us,.
This is the sanctuary God desires more than anything, for Jesus, died to establish it. This is the community that is called holy, that is set apart to know and love one another, where everyone knows your name, and everyone knows His. This is His masterpiece, this church made not of wood and stone, but of hearts and souls, the place figured in the words of John 1, where it says he came and made His home among us. This is what all creation culminated in, this sanctuary, this safe place God has made to dwell in with us.
Realize my friends, you dwell in Him, and you are His sanctuary. For this is His desire, to have this sanctuary for Himself.
Lord,, help ys to realize that in the Sabbath you rest, and envisioned us finding rest and peace with You. In making us Your Holy People, you created a place where You fit in, where You would rest in peace with those you call by name, who call You by Name and call upon that Name. Help us to do so often so that every burden is lifted, and every praise is sung. AMEN!
Tappert, T. G. (Ed.). (1959). The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (p. 415). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press.