…and when others are going in you stop them. Matthew 23:13-26 We read in Numbers (35) that when the Israelites were to enter into the land of Canaan, God instructed Moses to designate six cities as places of refuge in the event that a resident or alien among them, committed murder unintentionally. We don’t read about these cities in the scriptures of the Gospel. Perhaps, for some reason the idea of a place of refuge was abandoned. The Pharisees and Scribes of Jesus time made even refuge with God a difficult endeavor. To some extent today, churches, have become those places. Yet, while the body may have a place to go, how does one reconcile the struggle within one’s own mind? We can’t run away from our selves. Paul’s letter to the Romans reassures us of God’s love, regardless of how far we try to separate our selves from any situation. We have only to turn our heart and mind towards God and know that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Today, Christ is forever, our refuge.
…for which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary… the gift or the altar? Matthew 23:13-26 Throughout life we are constantly faced with making decisions from the mundane to the critical. For me without a doubt the most difficult ones surround life and death. In terms of a temple or a church, the sanctuary and the altar are physical places of refuge, redemption and reconciliation. It is a gathering place for believers in the one God, who ideally created the Holy in each of us, from the inside out. To have such a place is indeed a blessing. Yet for various reasons so many don’t have or know such a place or can’t get to it. Admittedly, there have been times when I couldn’t get there myself. There were times when Christ could not be found at the temple, but instead alone in a place where God met the sanctuary and altar of the Holy created within him. He was what God wanted other people to see. We are called to build the body of Christ and the Holy created by God within us must become what God wants other people to see for those who have no place or can’t get to it. For which is greater, the gold or the refuge; the gift or the redemption and reconciliation?
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