Then a billowing cloud filled The Temple of God. The priests couldn't even carry out their duties because of the cloud--the glory of God!--that filled The Temple of God. (2 Chronicles 5:13-14, MSG)
Today we arrive at the dedication of Solomon's temple. We could camp out at Solomon's prayer and all the way he asked God to respond to Israel's confession of sin (take a look-see at chapter 6) but I am battling illness and don't have that much time to write.
This verse above caught my attention. God came in their midst--in a very visible, obvious, not-to-be-mistaken way. The cloud reappeared! And filled the Temple (and what is the deal with all the capital letters?)
The priests took their job seriously. They wanted to obey God's law. They also wanted to please the king. He had divided the Levites into several regiments, responsible for different aspects of security and worship and offerings. This day was their party, and they wanted to get it right.
No wonder--they knew the history of priests who died because they handled holy things incorrectly. No one wanted any mistakes on this day.
And then . . . God showed up, and made their regular duties impossible.
And I ask myself, do I ever get so caught up in my routines, that I neglect to recognize when and where God is at work?
Are my current health problems and my adherence to routines keeping me from God's new work in and through me? I continue to wonder if the time has come for me to stop writing. Not because my joy in it has ended, but because I struggle with meeting deadlines or doing my best work. I don't know if I've had a single deadline not impacted by family or health emergency.
Do I get so caught up in routines (and deadlines) that I neglect the people God brings across my path?
God-ordained routines, such as gathering for worship, the Lord's Supper/Communion, and baptism (sacraments Christians are pretty unanimous about, even if we vary a little in our practices)--are important.
But if we miss when God takes over--we're missing the point.
Lord, keep our eyes and ears open.