1 Kings 8: (1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43)

This reading opens with the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant into the new temple. A travelling, seeking people has found a home and the presence of the Ark completes this journey for them.

Solomon declares that God has a covenant of love with those who follow his ways. God will dwell on earth, in the heavens, everywhere. People will pray to God and seeks forgiveness. Solomon acknowledges that many people will hear of God and the Temple and will visit Jerusalem as a result. These people should be welcomed “so that all peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you” (part vs43). How welcoming are we? What do our visitors take back to their homes after being in our gatherings?

The focus of Jewish life in Jerusalem is the Temple. This is a reminder to me of all the beautiful places of worship around the world. In Tasmania we are currently aware of the grief and anger of many of our Anglican friends, as they face proposed sales of many of their churches.

How do we reconcile our deep love of our churches with the need for our congregations to be vital, loving parts of everyday life? Does an awareness of our buildings bring people closer to God?

Barbara Wood
Hobart North Uniting Church