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1 Kings 5: Preparations

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Building the Jerusalem Temple

From time to time as we reflect at noontime, we have read about the Jerusalem temple, the holy of holies, the wisdom and power of Solomon, and relations between peoples of the Middle Eastern region.  Today, as we read this chapter, we might think ahead to what we know happens to this temple, this man, and these peoples.  Our thinking will bring to us many questions.

How is that measurements are scrutinized, forests are felled and then bound into rafts and ferried to the construction site, masons, carpenters, goldsmiths and sculptors are employed, splendor rises from the earth . . . yet we manage to forget the covenant which gives birth to the plan in the first place?

How is it that we take so much care with our time and resources to plan, prepare and produce something so worthy of so much praise from so many . . . yet we fail to tend to the principles that make this construction or this plan worthy to begin with?

How is it that we enter into so many relationships, make so many plans, see them through . . . and then walk away from, or worse – we defile, the beauty and serenity that has coalesced around these relationships?  What is it about human beings that can ignore the taste of the manna, the smell of the cedar, the sight of the gold, the touch of the friezes, the sound of so many kneeling in prayer?

The stones for this temple were formed at the quarry before taken to the construction site so that the sound of hammer on chisel would not disturb the peace of the house of God.  Yet we know that years later the people, their priests and political leaders would bow to the corruption of ungodly customs.  How did sacrificing babies become a fit practice for the people of God?  What was left out of these careful preparations that this kind of malpractice could not be foreseen and forestalled?

One of today’s Morning Intercessions in MAGNIFICAT catches my eye: For those who delay examining their decisions and habits: let them see how quickly life passes.  O Lord, listen to our prayer.

Perhaps it was not that the plans we read about today left something out.  Perhaps it was that the people and their priests and their political leaders did not continue to examine their collective conscience.  Perhaps the prophets’ words fell on the ears of those who were delaying the examination of their decisions and habits.  Perhaps the people, their priests and their political leaders  did not see how quickly life was passing them by.

This afternoon and this evening as we enter into prayer, we may want to support one another as we examine our decisions . . .  our habits . . . and our preparations.

Do our actions rise from the Gospel story? 

Do our decisions and habits respect human life and nature? 

Do we give light to all? 

Are our decisions and habits worthy of being written about or recorded? 

Do our preparations magnify the Lord?


For more information on Biblical Judaism, click on the image above or go to: http://people.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/J_Transp/J01_JudaismIntro.html 

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 7.18 (2008). Print.

Written on July 18, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

Image from: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-first-temple-solomon-s-temple

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