An Episcopal church in Manhattan, The Church of the Holy Communion, opened its doors in 1844 as a place of worship and a help to the needy. It had a good run, but by mid-20th century, neglect began taking its toll. In 1983, The Church of the Holy Communion was converted into the Limelight Nightclub, the once reverent spot into a house of decadence. Yet, it would sink lower still. In the Spring of 2010, the Church turned Nightclub was reborn as the Limelight Marketplace, with 35 upscale boutiques and restaurants, complete with stained-glass windows. What had become of the house of worship?
God warned Solomon there could come a time when, “Everyone passing by the Temple will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them'” (1Kings 9:8-9).
The first Temple, 960-586BC, Solomon’s, was destroyed by the Babylonians. The second, 516BC-70AD, by the Romans. Why then exert the effort, take the time, pay the price to build a house for God? Not because God needs the Temple, but because the Temple and its people need God. These temples lasted a long time, but they did not last forever. No building of man can.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1Corinthians 3:16). That “you” is plural, not singular. The Christian life is community. Do not go it alone. This is the Church, the people of God. You are that house. Built to last, because the Church is not a building of man, but the handiwork of God.
Heavenly Father, You are holy and righteous. I am not. You made me in Your image, so deep inside I have always known what I should be like. But, on my own, I wouldn’t do anything to change. Thank You for seeking me and inviting me to follow You. Thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life.
Jesus said, “Follow Me.” God, I commit to following You with all that I am. Help me keep that promise. Do not allow me to chase after empty religion, but may my religion be the kind of religion that You embrace, that I will keep myself pure, unpolluted by the world, and that I will look after and serve the poor, the marginalized, the orphans and widows. You are, and shall always be my first love. With all of my heart, with all of my mind, with all of my strength, I will love You, follow You, and serve You.