"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" 1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV
Thanks to a capital campaign started two years ago by Thom Gallen, our former Pastor, we have been able to do some much-needed work on the church. In time all buildings require some tender loving care, especially when you talk about one built in 1830. It is with love and devotion that te these repairs are being made, so that future generations will have a safe and beautiful place to worship.
While it is vitally important to maintain the building, it is essential to remember that the building is not the church, but a gathering place for the church. Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, makes it states that each one of us is God's temple. Once we have accepted Christ, we become his church, his place of worship. We often sing the song with our Sunday School children, We Are the Church.
I am the church!
You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
All around the world!
Yes, we're the church together!
The health of a building is often dependant on the strength of its foundation (v. 10-15). Our belief in God and the salvation offered through Jesus Christ is our base built on solid ground. As with our physical church buildings we need to do maintenance, we maintain our temples with the good spiritual practices of Bible study, prayer, and meditation. We also need to be careful about what we bring into our temples. Sometimes we end up bringing in things that are distracting, harmful, or hazardous to our temples. As part of our maintenance, we need to declutter!
What happens when we don't care for our temple? Paul continues (v. 17) with this warning, "If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." We should be caring for our temples purely out of our love for God; he has blessed us with both the body that houses the temple and the Holy Spirit that fills it. Our human tendencies, though, are to let our temples fall in disrepair. We may not do it intentionally, but we begin to ignore the things that require attention. We fail to keep up with our spiritual practices, and we allow clutter to come in. The longer it goes on, the worse it deteriorates, until in the end, our temples are in a sad state of dilapidation.
God, thank you that you have given us the gift of the Holy Spirit through your grace. In our acceptance, you make each of us a temple. Please give us the wisdom to maintain those temples in a way that is pleasing to you. Let our temples glorify you. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.