Psalm 90 / 2 Samuel 7:18-29 / Revelation 22:12-16
By Fr. David Bartholomew
My wife and I have never owned a house. In fact during thirty years of marriage we have moved a total of nine times--always into rentals. Even now as we approach retirement, we dream about investing in an RV and traveling the country. Owning a house has never really been a priority for us. For us, our connection has been to the memories we have built and not the building. Home is where the heart is.
In our daily reading from 2 Samuel 7, we quickly find that the topic of discussion is a house. King David has brought the ark back home to Jerusalem, and we find him settled in his house; at rest from all his enemies. However, David feels some unrest when he realizes that he is living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God is still in a tent. His presence has no house.
Now you would think that David’s conflicted feelings and sensitivity would garner a positive and encouraging response from God, but that is not what happens. Speaking through the prophet Nathan, God responds with a rhetorical, “Are you the one to build me a house to live in?” Godthen reminds him that, from the very beginning when he brought Israel out of Egypt, he has been moving about in a tent and tabernacle and not once has He ever asked the leadership of Israel to build him a house of cedar.
If it is not a permanent residence that God cares about, what does he care about? It is evident that God’s whole focus and concern is withbuilding David’s house and establishing his kingdom. Why? Because it is through the building of David’s house and Kingdom that he will establish and build his own. God’s kingdom will come through the root and offspring of David.
However, God’s kingdom will be a different kingdom; a kingdom not of this world. This will be a kingdom so diametrically opposed to earthly kingdoms that many will miss it or completely reject it. And his presence will not reside in the stone and mortar of a temple; but within the very flesh and blood hearts of mankind.
As we move slowly into Advent, we should again prepare our hearts to receive him. This God baby, this King Jesus, is coming and he needs aplace to live, to abide, to rule, and reign. Will we allow him a home within the temple of hearts?