In I Corinthians, Paul says, “ don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”
How have so many of us missed this for so many years? And how do so many of us continue to miss this?
As I’ve journeyed, observing my inner and outer experience, as well as journeying with others, there are three things I’ve noticed, which obscure our acceptance of Paul’s statement. Note the three things intertwine with one another and make it difficult to see and accept our role as “temple of God’s Spirit.”
First, most of us are raised under the cultural doctrine of original sin and that we are someway, somehow flawed and unworthy of God’s love… and or love in any form. There are many problems with that perspective but let me cut to the chase. If God is “within” you, so is God’s love so you can stop looking outside yourself for what you already have. Jesus tells the Pharisees… you can look over there , or over there, but the Kingdom of God cannot be observed as it is already “in your midst.” (Luke 17)
In chapter 31 of the book of Jeremiah, the covenant of God is recorded as, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,”… in our midst.
Second, since we’re always trying to fix ourselves to be worthy, we forget that the healing power of Love within us is already “fixing” anything we think may be broken. Now some of you will say… but you don’t know how broken I am. You’re right I don’t, but God does and still loves you in spite of your perceived brokenness, so much in fact that God has hidden God’s Spirit within you, within each of us.
Third, as humans we avoid risk. We are biologically speaking, survivors. Thus if you suddenly accept that God’s love is within you and that Love is so powerful that you can live your life in a radically open and loving way toward all people and all of creation… most of us would say… “that sounds amazing!” Truth be told, our humanness wants to run from that responsibility and risk. Realize that what we seek as humans is security and comfort. What God’s Love within embraces is risk, adventure, vision, fear, courage, awe, sadness, frustration, joy, etc.
To embrace what you are , “God’s temple of the Spirit”, is to turn your little self over to the Love of the universe, the Almighty who has always seen you as beloved and is inviting you into Love.
It is finished. Happy Easter indeed.