But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! I Kings 8: 27 NRSV
The Israelites believed in God being in a certain place. For them, God had been in the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle. But here, Solomon is sharing his wise opinion that a dwelling of any type truly cannot contain God. In fact, neither the earth nor heaven can contain God. God is just that big. God cannot be contained or limited to any one place.
Yet, Solomon appeals to God to be very present in this temple Solomon has built. Solomon asks that God listen to the prayers lifted up to God in this place of worship. Solomon asks for God's presence and blessing for this place of worship.
I agree with Solomon that God cannot be contained in any one place. Yet, I know that I find my church to be a place where God has been very present and I always feel closer to God when I am there. Kneeling at the altar is a special and holy time for me in that particular place.
Do you have a place that is particularly holy for you, where you feel God lingers and listens even more closely to your petitions? I encourage you to spend some time this weekend in that place, listening and being listened to in God's holy presence.
God, thank you for your presence in the holy places I am able to visit. Thank you also for listening to my prayers. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims