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The Temple and Worship

The Temple and Worship


In all of today’s readings, the temple is prominently mentioned. Ezekiel speaks of streams of living water flowing out from the temple, watering the desert, bringing life to all living things, offering fresh healing to God’s people.

Paul reminds the Corinthians that their faith rests upon the firmest of foundations, Christ himself. More than that, Paul reveals that those who follow Christ are themselves temples, temples of the Holy Spirit; that is, God dwells not only with them, but in them.

For the Jews of Jesus’ time, the temple had come to be identified with the presence of God and the only place where authentic worship of God took place. Jesus had a different perception. Jesus identified himself not with the temple, but as the temple. In so doing, Jesus indicated a dramatic shift in what it means to worship God, to be in God’s presence. No longer was a place to be the focus of prayer. Instead, a person, the person of Jesus Christ, becomes the center of our worship.

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