Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK ELEVEN
ORBIT – DAY FIFTY ONE
Hello and welcome to another week of Orbit – the daily devotional thought from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. Hopefully you’ve been enjoying this experiment over the last ten weeks – please get in touch and let us know what you think of it. We’re creating a new Orbit every weekday – our hope is that it will help you to establish just a small daily rhythm of time with God each day.
We’re just going to look at a single verse this morning – because it’s so powerful, it’s one to memorise and take to heart.
BIBLE READING – 1 Corinthians 3 v 16
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
We’ve mentioned a few times on Orbit that although Paul’s words are completely relevant to us today, they weren’t first written to us. Paul was a Jew, descended from a long line of Jewish people – and Paul’s ancestors had a story which was of central importance to them. They were the nation of Israel, called and set apart by God – the holy people, to whom God drew near. Many of the new Christians that Paul was writing to in his letters had grown up in this family dynasty, and they would have known that story well.
God chose Jacob to be the father of 12 children – each of whom became the head of a huge, sprawling tribe. Together they were the Israelites, and God called them special. In fact, he even lived in a physical place on earth, in their midst. He asked them to build a special container for his presence called the Tabernacle, and over time that became enshrined in a great tent, and finally an enormous temple. God was in the midst of the people, and they could even get close to his presence by drawing near and visiting one of his priests. That was what it looked like – in the Old Testament, old way of doing things, to have a relationship with God. It was for some people, and at arm’s length.
When Jesus died, there’s a famous moment where the curtain of the temple in Jerusalem tears itself from top to bottom. You might have never noticed that before, or just thought it was a weird side-effect of the cross. In fact, it was the direct result of the cross. By dying – along with our sin – Jesus cracks open the door to the temple. God comes pouring out – to all people, and no longer at any kind of distance.
The story has completely changed. And so that’s what Paul is reminding the Corinthians about here. Instead of living in a box, in a temple somewhere far away, God’s presence now lives in us. We become like the temple – we become the tabernacle! God’s Spirit is no longer living in the middle of our settlement – but at the centre of our being.
This is mind-blowing for anyone – but for Paul’s readers, who grew up in and knew the Jewish story, this is absolute dynamite. It’s so challenging; so hard to believe, that Paul is having to grab and shake them: “Don’t you know?” he asks… “It’s you – you have become God’s temple.”
It’s true for us too. God wants to know us – up close, not at arms length, or through someone else. He wants to know us directly; intimately; he wants to be involved in every part of our lives.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
God we invite you again today to come and live within us. Not in a church or a box somewhere – but here in our hearts, closer than our own breathing. We ask that we would know your presence today in a real and tangible way – please fill us with your Spirit once again. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
Today, just spend some time with God, and become aware of his closeness and his presence. We want to challenge you to just spend three minutes in silence – or more if you can manage it. Just taking some time in nature, or in a quiet place with no distractions, to reconnect with the God who calls you his temple, and draws nearer than you can imagine.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!