Reflections: September 11, 2020
Friday of the 13th Week after Trinity
By Mark Buetow
Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, and said to them: "Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place. (2 Chronicles 29:4-5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy all describe and detail how the services of the Lord should be held, how the tabernacle and its furniture should be built, what sacrifices were to be made, how the priests would dress and what their duties were, what feasts and festivals the people were to observe, and how the priests and people were to worship the Lord.
Once they got settled in the Promised Land, they pretty much did mostly none of that! Over time, the temple fell into disrepair and the people forgot God Himself, much less how to come and receive His gifts. King Hezekiah saw that and said, "We gotta fix this! Okay, you priests, time to get to work to clean up the temple and make it a place where the Lord's gifts are celebrated and received!"
Jesus is the true Temple, the true dwelling place of God. And in true sinful fashion, His people trashed the Temple. They slapped Him around and nailed Him to the cross. Yet the Father restored that Temple when He raised His Son to life on the Third Day!
Now, by the blood of Jesus, He cleans us up and dwells with us. Through water and the Word, and His Body and Blood, He wipes out the rubbish of our sin and dwells in us, making us living stones who together make up the holy Temple of His Body, the Church. It's quite a transformation!
Now every day is a call from Hezekiah to clean things up! Each day is a call to repentance and faith in Jesus, who lives in you and dwells among His people in His gifts. The temple was the center of Israel's worship because that's where Yahweh Himself was. Now, wherever Jesus is, He is among us with good gifts of life and salvation. You are the dwelling place of God because Jesus lives in you by grace! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
To this temple, where we call You, Come, O Lord of hosts, and stay; Come with all Your loving kindness, Hear Your people as they pray; And Your fullest benediction Shed within these walls today. ("Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation" LSB 909, st. 2)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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