This morning, I find myself reflecting on one’s personal being as the temple of God. In the Old Testament, the Israelites had to endure the discomfort and dangers of the road to travel to Jerusalem several times a year in order to worship God in the temple. New covenant living has a component of us being able to worship God interiorly, and also as being ones who takes God to others. We reverse the trend from the Old Testament. We make God more accessible to his people.
As I ponder this, I think about a world transformed because people encounter God through us. Of course, this is misleading because the goal is not to be God to others, but to make present the indwelling Holy Spirit to everyone we encounter. In other words, by allowing the loving nature of Jesus to shine forth through us, we have the ability to be instruments of God’s salvation to others. Not the means of salvation, just an instrument, a tool.
As I ponder this statement further, the question of how comes to mind. How do we allow Jesus to shine fourth through us? My current thoughts lead me to believe that we need to invite the Holy Spirit into each and every encounter we have every moment of every day. This is something that is seemingly impossible, but it is something that we should endeavor to make a habit. I suggest that we start each day with a general prayer that covers each of our encounters. We invite him into our entire day, and ask him to be in each and every encounter of our day. However, this is just the stopgap approach. The overall goal is to work towards forming a habit of inviting him into each encounter with others. The stopgap covers our current failure to be perfect in this endeavor.
When I ponder the Holy Spirit shining forth through us, I see people who seek to excel at maintaining peace even when these encounters with others bring negative feelings to the surface. I see people who affirm others by treating them with dignity, even when society or circumstances say that they are unworthy. I see people who put the needs of others before themselves, or at least at the same level as self. I see people who are prayerful before, during, and after these encounters. People who are apologetic when they are less than perfect in their endeavors to be temple-bearers. People who through their post encounter reflections critique their performance and continue to seek ways to improve their openness to and manner of being temple-bearers.
Spend some time with the Holy Spirit asking him to help you be a better temple-bearer to those you encounter today. Ask him to help you build a habit of inviting him into each and every encounter you have throughout your life. Ask him to further enlighten you to his presence within. Of course, if you are in need of your own encounter with a temple-bearer, feel free to pray for this as well. Jot down some notes from your time in prayer; notes about what you learned and/or some thoughts on how you can improve upon your life as a bearer of the temple of God Most High.