Jeremiah, Temples, and Solid Ground

If this earthly tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. (II Corinthians 5:1)

When the prophet Jeremiah preached in the ancient Temple, the building had stood on its foundations for more than three centuries.

But the people had dwelt in the Holy Land much longer than that. They did not originally conquer Mt. Zion and Jerusalem. Instead, they built the first long-term home for the Ark of the Covenant in Shiloh, near the Jordan River. For centuries they worshipped in Shiloh. They sacrificed, sang, prayed. They consecrated themselves there, as if they stood on the firmest foundation of the world.

Then the Philistines destroyed Shiloh.

And not long after Jeremiah preached in the Temple in Jerusalem, declaring that the place would molder in ruins because of the sins of the people—not long after that sermon, the Babylonians destroyed the city and the Temple.

…Where can we stand on absolutely unshakable ground? Where do the tumults and tragedies of history not wreak their havoc? Where can we dwell in peace, a peace that no war could ever threaten?

It’s a small place, and yet it has infinite capacity. It is a place that has been crushed by violence in exquisite agony, and yet suffered no permanent damage at all. It is a temple, an ocean, a furnace, a sun:

The Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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