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“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. ~2 Samuel 7:5-6 (New International Version)
David is at his best when he is listening to God. David wants to honor God by building a temple of some sort, but God lets David know that being housed in brick and mortar is not what God wants.
God wants David to become the leader God needs him to be, while God remains free to be in David’s midst—whether David is in a tent awaiting battle, at home celebrating with family, or traveling amongst his people from place to place. David learns that his role among his people is to establish the household of God by being their leader, not by building buildings.
David’s household shall be a household of people, not a household of buildings.
Churches, like David’s kingdom, are not a collection of buildings. Churches are a collection of people. Our household of God is not this church building or that church building. Our household of God is you, the person sitting next to you, the people sitting behind you and in front of you.
This summer Brookside Church joined with Stanley Congregational Church so we could worship together. Last Sunday (July 15th) Brookside Community Church joined us for a combined worship service, this coming Sunday (July 22nd) our Stanley community is looking forward to going to Brookside at 09:30 AM to join together for worship with them at their church.
Some years ago, the United Church of Christ launched an innovative ad campaign “God is Still Speaking.” Television and radio ads were created to get the message out to the wider community about God’s inclusive initiative and unique voice within our UCC churches. These were innovative ads that won awards but were considered so controversial because of their brass inclusiveness that many major networks refused to air them. There was the “Bouncer Ad,” and the “Ejector Seat Ad,” there were some radio ads and there was also a “Steeple Ad.” You can click the image above to watch the Steeple Ad.
That old Sunday School song has it right: “The church is not a building. The church is not a steeple . . .. The church is a people. I am the church. You are the church. We are the church together.” David’s ministry was to build the Hebrew people into a household of God so that they could live into their calling as the people of God. David figured this out by listening to God. And having listened, David never tried to build a temple or house God in one specific city. What he did do was bring the diverse group of Hebrew people together into a unified nation—a nation who worked and ministered and worshiped as one people. But it all began with this moment when David listened to God. David is perhaps the most remembered king, not because he was merely a mighty warrior, but because he was a mighty person of faith—someone who listened well when God said, “Don’t build me a house. Let me build a household through you.” When we listen, we can do amazing things as the people of God. Hope you can make it to Brookside this Sunday 09:30 AM!
~ Adapted from Mary Scifres Ministries