December 24, 2014
When King David was settled in his palace, and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!” 2 Sm 7:1-5,8b-12,14a,16
Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David.” Lk 1:67-79
We often hear people tell us not to put God in a box.
And it’s something we tend to do without even thinking about it, depending on how far away we are from Him.
The ‘once-a-year’ church-goers place God in that building that we call church; along with all those “churchy” people. But inside they may feel that it has nothing to do with their “real lives.”
The spiritual person places God in a box of the solitude of their prayer, feeling it is the only place they could ever find Him.
The communal person places God in a box of their relationships with other people, which can be risky when those relationships – just don’t work out.
And the open-minded Christian sees the diversity of a Father, and a Son and a Holy Spirit in many different aspects of their lives, where there is NO box.
In the Scriptures, we could say that King David was a pretty Holy person. He saw God in the Ark of the Tabernacle that the Israelites constructed in their Exodus from Egypt. It was actually a very Holy object because it was THE Box that held the Tablets of the Ten Commandments that Moses brought down from the Holy Mountain. And King David felt that, it was there, in that box, that God Resided. And because of that belief, David felt guilty that he was living in luxury, while God, in His Ark, was living under a tent. So David proposed building a magnificent Temple for God.
When you think about it, the whole concept was a little narrow-minded . . .
Because remember, it was God who created mankind. It was God who created the wood, and the soil, and the water that would be used to build that Temple. And it was God who created the Universe and this Earth on which that Temple would stand.
So how could we even imagine putting God in a box, or a Temple, or a Church building, or anywhere else, for that matter!
It was a totally ludicrous idea.
And God made sure that David clearly understood that it was not he who would be building houses, but God Himself. And the house that God would build, for all of us, would stand upon the Foundation of His very Self. That Foundation IS the Incarnate God, Jesus Christ, whose birthday we celebrate tomorrow. Jesus IS the Rock Foundation upon which the Church, not a building, but the People of God, stands.
So instead of looking for a box in which we can force our God to reside; a box that doesn’t intrude on our daily lives; a box that doesn’t limit us to “being good” all the time (even though it’s for our own good), Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, shows us exactly what we could and should be doing with God.
Like Zechariah, we should be
CONSTANTLY giving Him
We give Him thanks – for life itself.
We give Him thanks – for coming to live among us – as the incarnate Christ.
We give Him thanks for Blessing us with a place to live, with food to eat, with friends to share our lives with, and for every breath we take.
And we give Him thanks because there
is NO box big enough, or great enough,
or rich enough, or famous enough
to ever limit – our Awesome God!
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