My mother loved to tell me that the sign over the door to the chapel at her college read, "Enter to worship, leave prepared to serve."
The pillars at the front of Solomon's temple said, "Enter to worship, leave in security and stability."
Reading the description of Solomon's temple, trying to really imagine it, boggles my mind. The interior was gold-plated? Coated with precious stones? An entire building, 30'x90'? What was worship like for those few generations of Israelites who worshipped there in all its glory, before kings stripped more and more gold for other purposes?
Even stripped, it was built of the finest cedar from Lebanon. Fragrant, shining, amazing.
At the front of the Temple stood two pillars, seen upon entering and upon leaving. Solomon named them "Security" and "Stability."
If I asked 100 Christians what they expect to receive from worship, I would probably receive 100 different answers. Somehow, though, I suspect few if any would mention security and stability.
I remind myself that this was a house of worship for an entire people, not a place for a local group of believers, such as the synagogue in the New Testament. That political Israel and God's people Israel were one of the same. Praying for our nation, security and stability would rank high on our list, especially after the recent horrors in Boston.
But although the Temple was for the entire nation, they worshipped as individuals. While I might not associate security and stability with worship, they are things I crave. In faith I reach for security in Christ, for stability that I can finish the books God has called me to write even when each project becomes a challenge to complete because my health is iffy.
Security and stability might not be the emotional highs I associate with worship, but they are what I need. And after worship, I should be more prepared than ever to depend on the God who is my sure foundation.
P.S. I am on bedrest, trying to get some pressure sores to heal. From one day to the next I am unsure of my availability to write, or my own strength. So I will write as I can, and crave your prayers when I can't!