Thursday, October 25, 2012
October 25, 2012
When they finally got the
up in ,
the story goes, it sounded as though Solomon had done the whole thing. He cut
stone, paneled cedar, gilded with gold, and spoke the words of dedication.
Other parts of the story list the tens of thousands of people who lifted the
heavy stone, cut the trees, set the gilding, and showed up to sing hymns of
praise to God. Either way you look at it, it’s a big job to get a temple built. Jerusalem
marked a culmination of desire: to have a place to call holy, where divinity
could be met and faith could be understood. Funny thing, though, God didn’t set
a limit to the threshold of holiness. People would argue for generations about
where God could be found. In Temple Jerusalem, outside ; in a temple,
in a place of nature’s beauty: people got hot under the collar about it. Jerusalem
I guess we do, too. That’s not just an archaic argument. Are you religious or spiritual?
I believe there’s not a necessary division between religion and spirituality. Religion without spirituality can be dull, rigorous and empty. Spirituality without religion can be self-serving, unfocused and ungenerous.
Put them together, though, and there’s lively worship, meaningful conversation and significant outreach. If I have anything to learn from Solomon’s ancient temple, it’s that I need a place to learn about God with trusted friends, and that God is wilder than any cage might contain.
Blessings of studied faith and surprising spirit to you,
The Rev. Dr. Catherine Faith MacLean