In this week’s letter lectionary reading, in 1Corinthians 3:16, Paul tells the church at Corinth that they are God’s temple. God’s Spirit lives within them.
I have been thinking about that all week. My impression of temples in the Greek world, is of an empty space where a roof is held up by columns. There are many ways into the temple, but the center is mostly empty. Within that space, worshipers would come. Putting aside the pagan statues, it was in the vastness of that interior space that people would come to worship. It was a grand and magnificent space. That must be where we meet God.
One of the challenges that I face is how to empty my interior in order to be with God. There is a lot of clutter both inside and outside of me. To create a clean space takes effort. I am again reminded of the importance of silent prayer. In the Christian tradition, this is called contemplative prayer. Those who practice Buddhism call it meditation.
I am realizing how easy it is not to focus in this world. Are we an ADHD society? So many things and thoughts vie for our attention. I love my iPhone and having my email and messages handy but I wonder when I should turn it off (other than at a movie or in church).
I am seduced into thinking that I can do more than one thing at a time – listen to music, do laundry, and write. I can send texts while talking to someone or talk on the phone and email someone. It’s not true. When I do this, I end up distracted and fragmented. This way of living is adding to the clutter of my life. That is no way to be a temple.
If I am God’s temple, what do I want my interior to look like? What thoughts, emotions, prayers should be inside? And the exterior, how should it be cared for? Heart, spirit, mind, and body must be transformed in order to be a temple.
My hope is that I clear my interior. My vision of a temple is a clean and empty space. What is your vision of yourself as a temple?