By Brooke Holt
“Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.” The Collect for the 4th Sunday in Advent, Book of Common Prayer
As a child, I was blessed to attend a Christian sports camp in Westfield, Virginia. It was the most glorious summer of my life as I played sports, rode go-carts, jumped on blobs, and most importantly was mentored in the Christian faith.
Every morning and evening, we had devotions in the girl’s camp and then in our cabins. While I was not looking forward to this aspect of camp, I was pleasantly surprised by how engaging and enjoyable our lessons were. One Bible lesson I have never forgotten was about being a temple of the Lord: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:17) That message was powerful but made memorable when one of the girls declared, “If we are temples of the Lord, then Lance is a cathedral!” Lance was a very attractive male counselor, so we all wholeheartedly agreed with her comment. Thankfully, our counselor enjoyed the humor of this statement but then went on to teach that each one of us was God’s dwelling place, and each one of us was made beautiful and precious by God’s Spirit dwelling within us. Our temples were just as glorious as Lance’s!
Our Collect for today prays into this reality, and what a beautiful picture it paints. God’s people are called to be preparing their hearts and lives for Christ – that we become mansions for the Lord, full of space for him, beautiful through his righteousness, and filled with his glory.
That preparation is God’s call for you and me today -- not Christmas shopping, meal planning, or writing Christmas cards but preparing yourself for him. You are God’s temple; his mansion; and even his cathedral. Will you let his glory fill you and shine through you today?
How do you receive these words that you are God’s temple? Are you allowing his glory to fill you and shine through you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Our honest prayer before God is evidence that we understand the ways He loves, cherishes, sees, and hears us. Through prayer, we can acknowledge with Hagar, “You are the living One who sees me” (Genesis 16:14). When we pray, we are affirming the same. Why do we often hide from this privilege? Why do we avoid God, the One who sees us as we are and stands ready to provide and answer us in his holy, timely way? In this 8-week study on the prayers of Job, Ruth, Hannah, and David, grow your prayer life by facing your honest need and bringing your whole self before God. Acknowledging God as the One who guides your path can change your heart. It can take you past fear and into faith, strength, and hope. Learn more about Honest Prayer.
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