Building God's Temple

Recently I submitted a devotion for one of the Church of the Resurrection staff members.
The passage I was working with was 1 Peter 2:5-10
I have been invited to provide another "insight" next month.

Enjoy!

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When I was younger my grandpa would frequently tell me that my body is God’s temple, that I should treat it with respect--and that I should not get tattoos! I always found his advice odd, because on his right arm he has a prominent tattoo he acquired during World War II while on leave at Coney Island. My response to him was always the same: “We should decorate God’s temple then, shouldn’t we?” (Yes, I was that sassy teenager!) My retort, of course, was for him never an appropriate reason to even think about tattoos. However, over the years my grandpa has gained a new appreciation for how elaborate and beautiful some tattoos are. So long as we’re alive, we’re growing somehow!

While the Apostle Paul does say that our bodies are temples in 1 Corinthians 6, I like that Peter lays it out and says, “You yourselves are being built like living stones into a spiritual temple.” Not just the body, but all of who we are is being built into a spiritual temple. We are the stones that build upon the cornerstone that is Jesus Christ. Not only that, the cornerstone was chosen with great care and is highly valuable. Therefore, as living stones being laid upon that foundation, we too are highly valuable. As each stone is laid upon the next, as God’s holy priesthood we are being made into a holy temple.

This past week these words became real for me as I joined one of our Silver Link volunteers to visit one of our members in assisted living. For the past three years, the volunteer has dedicated his love and service to this man who has gradually lost the ability to communicate because of multiple sclerosis. Even though words cannot leave his lips, his eyes filled with tears of joy when he saw the man who has become his friend. Together they shared the day’s GPS passage, shared insights and later shared communion. In that moment of sharing the Lord’s meal, the Spirit overwhelmed my soul. I asked them if they would mind if I sang “One Bread, One Body.” As we ended our time together holding hands, praying our Lord’s prayer, we became not only the stones, but the walls of God’s spiritual temple. God’s love flowing through us bound us together into Christ’s mighty church.

In moment’s like these, we become joyously aware that our lives are not ours. We have been called by God to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation – we are God’s possession. We begin to see that we ourselves, the full being of who we are, are the decorations upon the walls of God’s holy temple. God’s light offered to us through Jesus Christ illuminates that temple and all darkness is overcome. When we share God’s love freely and sacrificially, we begin to know that the hope of resurrection becomes tangible and begins right here on earth through us.

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