And so this morning we ascended to Temple Mount, Old City Jerusalem. The centre of Jewish aspiration for a 3rd Temple on the site of the previous two temples built firstly by Solomon 3,000 and rebuilt after its destruction 2,500 years ago. The site of in the early 1st and 2nd centuries of a Roman Temple to Zeus, a 6th century Byzantine and for a short period a 12th century Crusader Church, but mainly for the last 13 centuries a Muslim holy site containing the Dome of the Rock, and the Al Aqsa mosque. 3,000 years (off and on) of worship, sacrifice, holy activity, prayer, devotion. Full of legend, tradition and some faith too. It’s easy to be overawed here – the place where the Ark of the Covenant is brought in years past, and the Divine Presence of God resided in Jewish thought in the Holy of Holies. Surely this is the sacred centre of the world – this is where we meet God?
Thanks God that in Christ I am not limited to this small plot of land. Paul writes to his Christian brothers and sisters in 1 Corinthians 3: 16-17: ‘Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? ……God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple’. And so I step away from the Temple Mount and onto the streets – this time reminded that in Jesus Christ I am to be the carrier of worship, to be the place of sacrifice, the example of holy activity, the offerer of prayer with a life devoted to him – the Holy and Sacred One. God make me a temple of your Holy Spirit.