Tag Archives: sanctuary

1 Kings 7-8; 2 Chr. 4-5; Matt. 2

“But will God really dwell on Earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built.”

1 Kings 8:27 NIV

Photo by Mandy Baldwin

I love sanctuaries! I love visiting different churches (especially when they are empty) so I can capture the beauty of their sanctuary. The stained glass, the candles, the chandeliers, the pulpit, the pews… the beauty. When I sit in a sanctuary and think of the hard work and dedication that went into building it I am overcome with gratitude. How King Solomon must have felt when they brought the Arc of the Covenant into its new home and they were overwhelmed by the cloud…the Presence of the Lord.

And yet…

Even the most beautiful sanctuary…the most expensive sanctuary…cannot contain the presence of God. It will always be too small. Solomon felt that dichotomy. He knew he was following God’s command by building to exact specifications AND he knew it would never be enough. God is too big. God is too amazing. God is so much more than a temple or sanctuary can hold.

Photo by Mandy Baldwin

Even out in the open, in the vastness of earth and sky, God can’t be contained. So why do we build? Why do we spend so much on spaces that will never capture the wonder and beauty that is God? Why do we even try?

“He is good; His love endures forever.”

2 Chron. 5:13 NIV

We build…because it’s what we have.

Anything we do FOR God will pale in comparison TO God. That’s a reality. But our souls stir within us to attempt to demonstrate to God how much we love Him…how our lives are so drastically changed because of Him…how much we desire to be with Him.

In return God shows up. Even in our small attempts, He rejoices with is.

“But you Bethlehem, in the Land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for our of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”

Matthew 2:6, NIV

Photo by Mandy Baldwin

God shows up. God brings Himself to our world to our lives. He is not hindered by how big the sanctuary is not by how small our offering. That’s the God we serve. That’s the God we love. That’s the God we need.

Thanks Be To God!

Father…in our striving may we never loose sight of you. May we always be drawn back to you and your presence. May we delight in you as you delight in us. Thank you for being THAT kind of God. Amen.

Mandy Baldwin (mkaybaldwin)

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Exodus 25-25; Matthew 21:1-22

It amazes me that the infinite, holy, wild, untamable God longs, craves to live within and among us.

Then have them make a sanctuary for me,

and I will dwell among them.

Exodus 25: 8

He doesn’t burst on the scene with fireworks, sounding horns and choreographed dancers. He comes gently, quietly on the back of a donkey.  The crowds know who they want him to be. They gather in numbers to give him a reception worthy of king. When Jesus enters Jerusalem, the city wonders and asks who this man is. The crowd answers with partial understanding,  “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”  Matthew 21:11

But Jesus is so much more. He is the Messiah sent by God, yet he is not the world’s idea of a messiah.   Instead of working from the outside in, he works from the inside out. He is on his own terms.  He is not impressed with our wealth, power, importance or our schemes to control the future. Jesus rejects all of that and literally turns the tables over.

He has come to claim what has been stolen from the God…broken hearts crying out for meaning, needing healing and looking for a love that will stay and never let go.  For that,  Jesus is hung on a cross.  His love for us, his desire to claim the sanctuary of hearts is so strong that he breaks the power of sin and death. All we have to do is call out to Him and invite Him in.

Lord,  forgive me when I try to make you into the messiah I want, not who you are. I surrender this heart to you. I give you the things I have tried to replace you with. Come live within and take hold of this heart. Make it beautiful for you. Amen.

Klueh

Let me live that I may praise you. Psalm 119:175

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