God’s Holy Temple [Part 2]
By Alan Wright — September 06, 2018
Are you ready for some good news?
You’re the temple of the Holy Spirit!
Today’s Text: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20, ESV)
A dear parishioner of mine teaches elementary school and, as part of her science curriculum, always includes a section about the Gulf Stream – the warm ocean current of the Atlantic. To illustrate, some years ago she had her students put hand written messages in bottles that the teacher then took to a sea Captain friend who boated out 40 miles off the coast of Wrightsville Beach to drop the bottles into the Gulf Stream current.
Unbelievably, a bottle was found in Portugal in 2014, another in France in 2016 and last year, in Normandy, a retired grandfather, Jean Pierre, was taking a walk on the beach when he discovered the bottle of Ben Beren, one of the second grade students here. The bottle was tangled in rope and seaweed. The neck of the bottle was encrusted with pale, blue-gray barnacles.
Jean Pierre took the bottle home to show his wife and broke it open to find Ben’s personally drawn picture of Poseidon’s trident, an image of a bottle and a simple note that said, “You found it!”
The bottle was, on the one hand, an ordinary bottle; but, on the other hand, there was nothing ordinary about it because of the message inside it! Jean Pierre didn’t just find a bottle – in a sense, he found a second grader named Ben.
A vessel changes in it’s value and wonder when its inner content is a treasure.
On the one hand, you are an ordinary vessel but, on the other hand, you are utterly unique and priceless because you are the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit.
To the Jewish people, the Jerusalem temple was the holiest place on earth. There, in the inmost sanctum behind the veil, God met with the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. But, according to the New Testament, the meeting place for God and humanity has changed. You have become the temple of the Holy Spirit.
I remember driving home from the hospital with our first baby. There’s no drive more precious and harrowing than the few miles from the hospital to your home with a baby on board. I wanted to take care of the car not because of the worth of the car but because of the worth of what was in the car. The purpose of the car increased infinitely when baby Bennett was in the back seat. You’re the car – the vessel – the inhabitation of God’s Spirit. Where you go, God goes. It’ll change the way you think about your body, your life and how you live it. You’re the temple of the Holy Spirit and that’s the Gospel!