United Church of Christ

A House, A Temple, A Tent, A Shelter

One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in God’s temple. For God will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of a tent; God will set me high on a rock. - Psalm 27:4-5 (NRSV)

One temptation is to believe that we will find God only if we build the perfect structure. Here’s the thing, though. God doesn’t fit into the boxes we make for her. Even within two short verses, the poets do not try to make God fit into one place. The psalmist here finds the LORD in a house, in a temple, in a tent.

How about you? Where do you seek the Holy? In the comfort and camaraderie of home—gathered around a table heaped with a favorite meal? Or it could be you look for the LORD under the soaring rooftops of the temple—a place of worship and learning. Or maybe you find the Divine Presence in the temporary structure of the tent—on the go, wherever you are. Or perhaps you are one of those blessed to encounter the Living God in all of those places.

It’s a temptation to believe the cloth must be laid just so, the candles lit correctly, your heart swept clean, your mind a tidy dwelling place. God is ready to live with you wherever you are.

Prayer
Holy One—meet me in the home, in the temple, in the tent. Wherever I am, remind me that my shelter is you. Amen.

dd-brownell.pngAbout the Author
Jennifer Garrison Brownell is pastor of Vancouver United Church of Christ. Her writing appears in the collection, The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms For the Struggle, available from The Pilgrim Press.

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