Reading through the Book of Chronicles at Morning Prayer recently has brought us this past week to the dedication of the first temple, built in the time of King Solomon. We have been left in awe and wonder, not so much at the detailed descriptions or the many sacrifices involved, but with the imagination of the scene in the building itself during the prayer and dedication process. There cannot have been any precedent for this, so Solomon, guided by the Lord, must have sought to do things in accordance with his impressions and intentions at the time.
As one thing has built upon another during these days of reading these chapters, especially with the high ritual of bringing the ark into the temple and placing it with such an aura of care in handling something so holy, and locating it where the people could know that it was present, but holding it at a distance, with a sacred respect, that definitely held a sense of fear in what was so holy and set apart.
Today, in reading chapter 7, we are led to contemplate the promises that God is giving to Solomon and the the children of Israel, as all is completed and this great work stands not as a monument to the past, but as a sign of the relationship that is on-gong, and these words come from God, that we continue to hold true in our day:
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”