Who Shall Abide in God’s Sanctuary?
A Psalm of David.
1 O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?
2 Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart; 3 who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors; 4 in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the Lord; who stand by their oath even to their hurt; 5 who do not lend money at interest, and do not take a bribe against the innocent.
Those who do these things shall never be moved.
To be in the house where God dwells, and the place where God’s glory abides.
We traveled to Israel in 2010, and one of our first visits was to the town of Nazareth.
A tour had been set up for us at a small area that is run by the YMCA in Nazareth that is a historical depiction of what life was like in the village of Nazareth in Jesus day. Our tour guide at the site greeted us and gave us an overview of the small, two-acre site. After introduction, he had to say it, being a guide at the site set up by the YMCA – “Let’s go visit the Village People!”
There was something special about being in that place. Probably not exactly where Joseph and Mary made their home, but it was pretty close. There is something special about being there.
We had many opportunities throughout those days to be in or near the places Jesus walked and preached and prayed. A couple of examples - A boat ride on the Sea of Galilee
A time for prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane
The good news is we do not have to venture far to be in the place where God dwells. For we have it from a reliable source that where two or three are gathered, Jesus is present (Matthew 18:20).
As of writing this a week ahead of time, we just got word that Montgomery County moved down to level 2 after weeks at level 3 under Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System. This has been the guide we have followed to determine when we can worship together once again.
If all goes well in the coming days, we should be back to offering worship outside this Sunday. How we long to be together.
The good news is that as we gather together, God is with us. God is present. It is good to be where God resides.
I also believe that God resides with us as we gather through the online streaming services. God is with us as we gather together to worship. God is with us.
I remember Herb Brokering’s words at a Synod Assembly many years ago. Brokering was a gifted musician and teacher. The song “Earth and All Stars” and many others were penned by him. His passion and wit were a blessing to all. As our Bible study leader at this assembly, Brokering said he thought it foolish that people go to Israel and get a bottle of water from the Jordan River to bring back so the same water with which Jesus was baptized can be used here in the USA for a baptism. Brokering said (as I can best recall), “If I understand the way water and weather work, water from a river will evaporate, be pulled up to the sky into clouds, move from that place to another, and when the cloud has enough moisture, it will then rain. That cycle happens over and over again. So I figure, over 2000 years, some of the water that was in the Jordan River when Jesus was baptized eventually made it to Kansas when I was baptized as a baby.”
God is with us. God abides with us.
Where do you see God’s glory today?
Dear God, thank you for the many places you dwell. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.