I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”
1 Kings 8:13
Who knows why Solomon built a temple—to honor God, to house our human needs, to serve others more fully? Whatever Solomon’s original motivation, God blessed the temple and filled it with God’s Holy Spirit. After it was built, Solomon stopped everything to honor God. He sings God’s praises and asks for God’s continued help. He prays for the foreigners who will come into the land—that they may also sense God’s presence in this temple, sing God’s praises, and ask for God’s help.
This is truly one of Solomon’s finest hours, for he shows us what it means to be a leader who values and honors God. He shows us what it means to be a person of faith who values and honors God. Solomon wasn’t perfect. No one is perfect. But when we value and honor God, we put ourselves in the perfect place to hear God’s wisdom and guidance; we put ourselves just where we need to be to experience the Spirit’s powerful support in our lives. Solomon shows us how to follow where God leads us so that others may also honor and value God, as they experience God’s loving presence through us.
Reflecting on Solomon, I think of September, which is right around the corner, which was a month of newness, happy times and new beginnings for our family while growing up. Back to school shopping while stressful on our parents’ finances was very exciting for us kids (5 boys 2 girls). Filled with anticipation, I recall the 3-hour long trips from Killeen to the big city in Dallas,
Texas that we made in August to go to the huge Montgomery Ward store. For us kids it was exciting to pick out new school supplies and clothes to wear to start a new school year.
September is a time of new beginnings.
Are you looking forward to new beginnings this September? Maybe, it’s a good time to start something new, something exciting; it’s a good time to take a look at a new plan, a new idea, a new skill… something new this fall to kick off the year. If you feel stuck and need some help getting inspired and you haven’t been coming to church, maybe you want to make a new commitment to your faith and your church and be inspired by messages of transformation, uplifting music, fellowship, and the learning that goes on during the year. Maybe you want to take a new direction in your life, maybe you want to be inspired by the sacred space that is yours to share and partake in. Do you need something new to look at this September, something new to think about, something new to experience, someone new to meet; then look no further and don’t delay any longer and just drop in for a visit.
September is traditionally a time of new beginnings, and at Stanley it will be a time of newness for you and for me. See you in church.