Read: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16, Luke 1:46b-55, Romans 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-28
Get started with a family activity: grab your favorite Legos and build what you think a good church looks like.
Reflect: We recently completed a building expansion at our church. We added three classrooms to our preschool and a state-of-the-art Tweens Center. Like most building projects though, we were scrambling to get it done at the end. Our staff worked nonstop to complete it. Everyone pitched in, helping out in every area: hanging lights, assembling furniture, installing speakers. We all worked together; everyone doing a part to finish the building. Now it’s complete — the classrooms are full of children and the Tweens center is booming. But it was seeing people pull together to complete the space — a place where our youth worship and where the Lord dwells — that was so wonderful to witness during crunch time.
We learn about the desire to build the first temple for God in 2Samuel 7. God had given David a time of plenty and rest – and David wanted to do something for Him in return. He seemed to ask, ‘What can I do for God?’ and decided to build a temple. In verses 4 – 6 (NLT): “…the Lord has declared: Are you the one to build a house for me to live in? I have never lived in a house, from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until this very day. I have always moved from one place to another with a tent and a Tabernacle as my dwelling” and in verse 9 “I have been with you wherever you have gone.”
It’s like David was saying “I need to build a house for God,” and God saying in return “I don’t really need you to, my house is in you.” He never wanted a building — He wanted a people. In a sense He says, “I never asked for this. This is something you need.” We need a place to go worship Him. And while we have our new Tweens Center where our youth worship Him on Sundays, God doesn’t just show up there. He goes with us wherever we go — from one place to another — and dwells inside us.
In Luke 1 we see the fulfillment of this prophecy in Mary — the first example of the temple of the Holy Spirit dwelling in a person. In verses 46-49 she responds to the news that she will carry the Messiah: “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.”
So with just a few days left this Advent season — as stockings are hung, trees are decorated, cookies are baked, and you attend Christmas Eve worship services —remember, it’s not about the building — God dwells inside us. And He goes with us wherever we go.
Getting back to those Legos: if you made a person rather than a building, I think you designed just what God had in mind for His church.
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If God has blessed your house, what can you — like David — do in return for Him?
When you think about God dwelling inside you, what do you feel like He’s working on right now?
As Mary did, what are you praising God for doing in your life?
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son and for dwelling inside us. Help us to remember that you go where we go, and that we can worship you wherever we are.