"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" 1 Corinthians 3:16 NRSV
We haven't had one in a while, but we at one time were in the practice of having "work days" at church. For a couple of hours one Saturday about every six months, we would gather and do much-needed projects; power washing mildew off the north side of the church, weeding the flower beds, washing windows, wiping down walls, etc. There was a job for everyone! It was tiring work, but we managed to have fun and left at the end with joyful hearts. The church looked better than when it had earlier that morning.
Our souls are also a church -- we are the church. Part of demonstrating that we are followers of Christ is taking care of the church we've been given. Our bodies require more than an irregular workday, but we need cleaning and maintenance every day. We must sweep and mop the floors, dust the furniture and knock down the cobwebs. God is not just coming for the occasional visit; He resides in us -- permanently!
The Apostle Paul says there is much more than merely keeping our temple presentable; there is a fearsome cost in not doing so. "If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." (3:17). Therefore, because the Holy Spirit lives in us, we are Holy, and we must recognize this great gift and treat it with respect.
Almighty and awesome God, we give you thanks for your Holy Spirit that makes us your temples. We confess we do not always treat our bodies with the respect we should. We abuse, mistreat and pollute our temples. Father, please forgive us for these mighty sins against you. Please help us today to prepare our bodies, so they are worthy of your presence. We pray this in the name of your Son, Jesus our Christ. Amen.