2 Chronicles 6:12-21
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said: “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it as it is today.
“But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.
These three photos are of large and impressive buildings given to religious purposes. One is a museum. One is a mosque. One is the largest church in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica. But God does not dwell in temples built by human hands – even the most beautiful and ornate ones. It is sad when a church becomes a museum. It is sadder even still when people tie their faith to any building. God’s Holy Spirit sustains us in the faith – no matter where we may gather with others for worship. Gather we must (it’s vital to gather to reorient our moral and spiritual compass to the true north of God’s word and to receive God’s blessings of word and sacrament). Thank God we do have beautiful place in which we may gather! Thank God that he dwelt with us in the human temple of Jesus’ body, and invites us to dwell with him forever in his kingdom of light, life, joy, and salvation!