1 Kings 8: Dedication
Wednesday, May 18,2016
In this chapter of 1 Kings we see the beautiful temple built by Solomon dedicated to God. We read Solomon’s prayer, said in the presence of the whole community of Israel. And we see a king and a people commit themselves to living a life as their God would have them live it: in accordance with the terms of the covenant first struck with Abraham. We might want to reflect today on how we dedicate ourselves to God, and to the terms of the covenant into which we ourselves have entered.
As he begins his prayer, Solomon intones, Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below; you keep your covenant of kindness with your servants who are faithful to you with your whole heart. Later he prays, May your eyes watch day and night over this temple, the place where you have decreed you shall be honored; may you heed the prayer which I, your servant, offer in this place. Listen to the petitions of your servant and of your people Israel which they offer in this place. Listen from your heavenly dwelling and grant pardon.
The beautiful part of this story arrives with the New Testament when God’s people become the temple through Christ, the priest and intercessor, and when we fully realize the magnitude and depth of God’s compassion and mercy, his willingness – even eagerness – to forgive our waywardness.
From the MAGNIFICAT Morning Prayer: In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2) And from the mini-reflection: In the house of Jesus’ Father, the temple, there were many courts and rooms provided for the use of different groups of people in their desire to enter God’s presence and worship him in the place where he dwelt. According to John’s Gospel, which we read during Easter, Jesus is the new and eternal Temple where God dwells among us. In his heart, opened to all peoples on the cross, there is a place for everyone who seeks God.
Have we fully dedicated our lives to the service of God? Have we established the rituals and the offerings? Do we intone our own prayer morning, noon and night? If we say we are dedicated and committed, to what, to whom, why, how, when and where? If we cannot answer these questions quickly and with certainty, we may want to look again at the care with which Solomon and his people build and dedicate a place to a God who is goodness itself, a God who loves and saves. If we answer these questions quickly and surely, let us take this moment in this present Easter season to re-dedicate ourselves to this gracious and marvelous God.
From the Magnificat Morning Intercessions:
You are in our midst; your name we bear: make us a fit dwelling place for your love.
You have made us temples of your Spirit: cleanse our hearts and make of them a house of prayer.
You have chosen us as your resting place for ever: grant us peace in your presence.
A favorite from April 30, 2010.
Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 30.4 (2010). Print.