Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 12: Year 1
“The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things:” (Acts 17: 24 and 25)
These words above seem to refute our 2nd Samuel reading where the Presence of God was dwelling in a work of art made by human hands. The 2nd Samuel reading says, “David and all the people with him set out and went from Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned on the cherubim. (2nd Samuel:” 6:2)
As a Christian I believe that God truly did dwell among us but not in any work of art that we made. No, The Great Creator was pleased to dwell in the person of our Lord Jesus. And since then the continuing words of Paul ring true:“For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we too are his offspring.” (Acts 17:28)
I recall roughly the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel in his book The Sabbath. He basically said, “it is not places or things that are holy, but rather we have holy times:” (not a word for word quote but the meaning is exact). Rabbi Heschel was talking about the importance of the Sabbath (today). But within his words we learn that while we have precious jewelry and crafts, and beautiful stained glass windows, and Icons, and even our Bibles and Prayer Books, the Presence of God does not reside in them. All of these are the works of human hands by which we humans may direct our prayers and worship to God. We do not pray to them, we pray through them. The time we spend with such objects is more holy than the objects themselves.
I spend time daily with scripture, Christian music, and faith groups. In these times I pray and try to connect to God in prayer. God is Good, all the time. While I am aware that I am still a work in progress, it is progress. I am gaining more insight as I slowly move along. Faith in the One in whom we live and move and have our being is life saving and sustaining. My message to everyone of to find something that puts you in a spiritual mood, and then find a place that is soothing and comfortable for you, and at the junction of thing and place and within the time you have made there, God will visit you through your efforts.
Love is the most powerful force in the universe. And Guess what? God is love. If given the time, the love of God will transform you. It is written somewhere in scripture that the Altar is more holy that the things put on it to be blessed. Our Time is our personal Altar. What will you put on it to be blessed?
Let us live to love, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John