"Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong . . ." - Psalm 15
In my lifetime I’ve been blessed to visit some truly wonderful and inspiring houses of worship: the National Cathedral, in DC, the Cathedral of St. John The Divine in New York City, cathedrals in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia, and some truly gorgeous churches in Italy (not the least of which was St. Peter’s at The Vatican). And, of course, our own sanctuary which has an inspiring beauty and elegance all its own.
These spaces are all created in order to inspire and help us feel closer to The Divine. It is true, as well, that many of us feel that same proximity in places of great natural beauty: the mountains, the ocean, the Grand Canyon, or looking at the night sky far away from lights when we can truly see just a slice of the vast wonder of the cosmos...these are also spaces that inspire us and get us in touch with that which is greater than ourselves.
Psalm 15, though, offers another way to remember and be in touch with the presence of God: the ways in which we live. I am inspired just as much, if not more so, when I see people living their lives as the psalmist reflects: one who does what is righteous, who speaks truth from the heart and has no slander on their tongue, who treats their neighbors well; these inspire and put us in the proximity of The Divine just as much (hopefully more so) than the building that we build.
If we never had one building to worship in but truly lived lives that acted as living worship as outlined in Psalm 15, would it matter?
Almighty God, while we’re thankful for our spaces of inspiration, let them not replace the truth that we ourselves are called to be living the inspiration we seek by the ways in which we honor you and each other.