Of Temples and Tombs

Striding up the flight of stairs he stood firmly with legs spread. Bounded by imposing columns were two even more imposing solid cedar doors, perfectly mated in their closed position.

Precision craft and skill had carved the most ornate floral patterns into those pieces of solid cedar. Such workmanship simply commanded respect. It was with such due respect that he, with a surprising ease, rotated the bronze door latch. The doors glided open, defying their bulk.

Instantly his eyes were filled with white -- a purity of inexplicable significance. A weight descended upon him. Captivated, these unknowing eyes pondered -- is this the interior of a church or is it really temple? Has he entered a place of bygone worship or has he stepped into heaven?

It was as if he had opened a door to another world. Motionless he gazed at what consumed all his senses. Unaware, the door now glided closed behind him - the dull click of the latch unnoticed.

Everything that lay before him was a pure and most dazzling white. Perfectly ordered pews, with all the furniture of a bygone ritual was backlit in an uninterrupted beauty. The entire interior and furniture was constructed from the most exquisite white marble so brilliant that he saw his reflections, so pure it was without blemish and so empty it cries why?

Yet his eyes had deceived him, for as he stepped further into this white chamber he saw more clearly bodies all clothed in pure white. They were littered with a comforting abandon around this temple of worship. The realization that he had stepped into a tomb of worship seeped into His being. His eyes were now engaged by the majesty of a mausoleum -- he finally understood.

How, why - he questioned almost audibly, so strong were his thoughts.

At the very front of this mausoleum was more pure white marble - a table. His eyes flowed across this table as he realised that also no windows were present in this mausoleum.

No persons who would ever enter here could see the outside world, enjoy its beauty or know of its travails. No one could ever see the handiwork of a good God in a world gone bad.

All those who had entered to worship, had died in their ritual purity. No engagement, no devotion, no service had ever left this temple turned tomb.

In a self-righteous purity, isolation had been their downfall. Their love of purity had replaced their love of His person. Their worship of Him had replaced their work for Him.

26th September 2010            James 1:26-27, Revelation 3:1-6

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