Let me in…

Excerpt from Jeremiah 7:1-15  

“Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place.”

 Reflection by Quinn G. Caldwell

The people have been telling themselves that God lives in their temple and will always do so, no matter how they act.  Enter the prophet.

Jeremiah lets loose like a good prophet: do not oppress the orphans and the widows, do not shed innocent blood, do not worship other gods, do not act unjustly with one another.  If you do (you know what’s coming here), then God will no longer be in your temple.

But get this: Jeremiah says that the reason God won’t be in the temple isn’t that God will leave, or will punish the people.  Jeremiah says that God won’t be in the temple because the people won’t let God be.  Jeremiah pictures God outside the temple, asking, “Let me in!”  It’s like Jesus saying, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.”

 Apparently, our behavior has something to do with whether there’s room for God in our lives—and our temples—or not.  Apparently, God won’t shove God’s way in where people’s behavior declares that God is not wanted.  Apparently, our acts of justice and worship and mercy are the very things that open the door to God.

 So the question is, just how much do you want God in your temple?

Prayer
Holy God, love me so much that I might shape a life that has plenty of room for you in it.  Amen.

Quinn G. Caldwell About the Author
Quinn G. Caldwell is Pastor and Teacher at Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC, in Syracuse, New York, and co-editor, with Curtis J. Preston, of the Unofficial Handbook of the United Church of Christ.

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