I was reading 2 Chronicles 5 and the following thoughts came to mind as I meditated on the text.
After Solomon completed the construction of the temple, he had the Ark fo the Covenant brought to Jerusalem to reside in the temple. There was great celebration when it was put in place and we are told that while the priests and everyone was celebrating and rejoicing…
“the temple of the Lord was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.”
When I read this I thought, “wow, what would that be like to have to stop in the middle of a service, to not be able to perform my pastoral service because the glory of God filled the room.” As I pondered this thought, another thought occurred to me.
In the days of Solomon, the priests represented the king and the people to God. God spoke through the prophets and the priests. But Jesus changed all that. We no longer need priests to represent us before God. We can have relationship with God and as Paul says God’s temple is now us. God’s Spirit resides in Christ followers. Not in a temple or building somewhere. What a privilege.
Then I thought, how often have I been in church, worshipping God, but really just going through the motions. There I’ve been, the spirit of God is in me and I’m in a place, surrounded by people who like me have God’s spirit inside of them. But instead of being overwhelmed by the glory of God as the priests in Solomon’s day were. I go through the motions, I do not become overwhelmed by the glory of the living God who dwells with in me. There have definitely been times when I have been overwhelmed by the glory of God while taking part in a worship experience, but there are probably more times that I have faked it. Sometimes I’m distracted, sometimes its because I don’t feel into it. Sometimes I get so focused on the visual (seeing God) and the feeling (sensing God’s presence), that I forget that no matter what I’m doing the presence of God is in and upon this temple (me!). What a waste.
O God, forgive me for not always seeing the cloud, your glory. May my lack of seeing and feeling, not keep me from recognizing that the Spirit of God is in me, His temple. May I regularly and continually be overwhelmed with the glory of God, so much so that I cannot complete my service. Amen.