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A model of Herod's Temple adjacent to the Shrine of the Book exhibit at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Public Domain

A model of Herod’s Temple adjacent to the Shrine of the Book exhibit at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Public Domain

Nowhere we design – that’s for sure! What church, temple, synagogue or mosque could hope to house the pervasive, restless nature of a presence that is simultaneously transcendent and immanent? David, newly enthroned King of Israel, self-consciously wrestled with the contrast of his cedar palace and the tent that had symbolised  YHWH’s nomadic presence with the people (2 Samuel 7:1-11). Nathan helped him to see that it was in YHWH’s intrinsic nature to choose when and how to be present.  By now David should have grasped that YHWH would always be present to his people without the benefit of a house. David eventually built a temple. We build our chapels and cathedrals.

In this season, we prepare to celebrate how YHWH deigned to be revealed in a person, Jesus of Nazareth. Because of Jesus of Nazareth, we have been able to understand more clearly how to be come temples, homes for the presence of YHWH, ourselves.

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