Read Psalm 48:1-50:23
Within your temple, O God,
we meditate on your unfailing love.
Go Deep: There was something pretty special to the psalmist about the city of Jerusalem and the tabernacle that housed the earthly manifestation of the uncontainable presence of the Lord. As you read the rest of Scripture, you will find that God thought it pretty special, too.
Of course, the New Testament teaches us that under the new covenant, the Holy Spirit dwells in believers individually (I Corinthians 6:19) and collectively (I Corinthians 3:16-17), which means that now we, the body of Christ, are God’s temple, his dwelling place on the earth. Yet there is still something special about the physical place where believers come together to collectively lift their voices in praise, pour out their hearts in prayer, share their love in fellowship, serve one another in kindness, teach God’s anointed Word, and convincingly call the lost to salvation.
Yes, we are the church—let’s not forget or get confused about that. But neither let us forget that the place we gather is also the church, and by virtue of our collective presence, along with the active presence of the Holy Spirit, the building becomes sanctified as well. It, too, is God’s temple.
I bring that up to remind us that the church is still a wonderful place to come and meditate on God’s unfailing love, just as the tabernacle was to the psalmist thousands of years ago. In light of that, I would encourage you to add a new dimension to your regular routine of worship—as if worship should ever be routine! Not only should you actively fellowship with God’s saints in the church (Hebrews 10:24-25), but make it your practice to slip into your church’s prayer room or sanctuary often for a time of simple solitude and quiet meditation. It can be with other people present, or just go in when you are alone and give it a try. Just sit and soak in the presence of God, and quietly reflect on who he is and what he has done.
Do it often, and see if you don’t grow in your appreciation for the house of God, and more importantly, for the unfailing love of the Lord for the church.
Just Saying… William Penn, the seventeenth century Quaker and hero of American liberty, wrote, “In the rush and noise of life, as you have intervals, step home within yourselves and be still. Wait upon God, and feel His good presence; this will carry you evenly through your day’s business.”