Musing number 2
When Jesus offered advice on prayer, to the people of his day, he said: Matthew 6:6 (NKJV) “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” To us that will make sense, because we have many rooms in our homes. In Jesus’ time the houses only had one room. This is seen in Jesus’ statement in Matthew 5:15 (NKJV) ‘Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.’ To give light to everyone in the house, the house will have only one room. So what room is Jesus talking about? He is talking about us entering a room in our mind, imagination or thinking, that corresponds to the “Temple not made with hands” that Jesus promised in Mark 14:58. We may be in a crowd, but we can sneak in where nobody sees or hears. Below is a poem I discovered in one my readings.
There is a viewless, cloistered room,
As high as heaven, as fair as day,
Where, though my feet may join the throng,
My soul can enter in and pray.
One harkening, even, cannot know,
When I have crossed the threshold o’er;
But He alone, Who hears my prayer,
Has heard the shutting of the door.
In this post Easter time, one of the great verses of the bible to remember is Mark 14:58 (NKJV) “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands’.
Jesus is very specific about the timeframe. “Within three days”. Therefore three days after the crucifixion we had a new temple. So at the time when the the disciples had found the empty tomb, this new temple had been built ‘without hands’.
This is terrific encouragement to you and I, because it is a temple that we can enter as we think and ponder. Now we can worship without a building or priest or ritual. It is a temple that we can enter where ever we are. Brother Lawrence wrote “for being with God is to be always at church; we make an area in our hearts wherein to retire from time to time, to converse with him. This is meekness, humility and love. Everyone is capable of such familiar conversation with God, some more, some less: He knows what we can do.” The challenge for us is to make a temple, within us and our imagination for the Holy Spirit.