Many of us heard stories about Solomon’s (the son of King David) legendary temple, build in 957 BC.
King Solomon spared no expense in building this temple, including using the finest cedar wood and stone.
According to 1 Kings, the most sacred inner space within this temple, the Holy of Holies, even housed the Ark of the Covenant itself! (the Ark of the Covenant was a wooden chest covered with gold, containing within it the same ten commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai, Aaron’s rod, and a pot of manna!)
Clearly, for the Israelites, the temple was the most sacred space on Earth.
The Temple was a home to their beloved, priceless relics, that not only connected the Israelites to the divine, but also reminded them of their spiritual and cultural identity, and the stories of their spiritual and cultural journey…
The Israelite s went to the temple to be transformed, reestablished/grounded in their cultural and spiritual identity, strengthened in their connection to the Divine.
I have built you an exalted house, a place for you to dwell in forever. (1 Kings 8:12-13)
King’s Solomon’s temple was destroyed during the Babylonian invasion of 586bc, then rebuild again 70 years later (known as the Second Temple), and expanded by king Herod; only to be destroyed by the Romans in 70Ad.
Another noteworthy reference around temples can be found in the New Testament’s description of Jesus’ visit to the Second Temple, during which He passionately rebuked the hustling merchants who conducted their business within the grounds of the Temple.
His action was protective of the sacredness of the Temple. It keeps encouraging His followers to also protect their boundary around what is Holy in their lives, whether this be their Higher Power, goodness, or boundless love and light…
The sacred within
We don’t have to travel far to connect with what is Holy. John Paul II believed that we simply need to look within—our bodies themselves are temples, encouraging us to connect with the Divine spark within us, not squelching its ambers.
How can we cleanse our inner temple?
Regardless of your faith, you can put into place your own ritual for cleansing your inner temple and connecting with the Divine spark within.
For me, this involves relishing a moment of solitude, connecting with my inner truth, and taking a moment to remind myself of my spiritual and psychological identity.
It involves allowing myself silent time of solitude, listening to my thoughts and cleansing them with compassion, encouragement, gratitude, forgiveness, hope; as well as purposefully choosing coping that brings the highest good to myself and others.
In our materialistic culture, it is too easy to lose sight of the sacred. Whether it is through disconnecting our bodies from our being and relating to them with judgement, looking for fulfillment outside of ourselves in materialistic pursuits, simply getting lost in our daily business and disconnecting from our "whys," or forgetting about the goodness and love behind what we do…
Temples historically contained artifacts, such as ancient stained glass windows decorated with images that brought attention to the narratives of faith.
What image/s can support you in redirecting your attention to what is most sacred in your life?
Take a moment to connect with faith, hope, and love today!