1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future – all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
Paul wants the members of the Church in Corinth to understand that each of them is a Temple, a holy dwelling place for God. He would say the same applies to us.
Temples may be beautiful and hold important holy things within, but Temples are also fickle. Trust me, I’m married to the church’s Facilities Manager. Roofs leak, wood floors warp, facades crumble, foundations crack, HVAC systems give out. Even the most expertly built structure (like St. James’s) will suffer from some issues over time, be it mold, peeling paint, or even pest infestations. Upkeep is required and must be nearly constant to keep a building in good shape for its occupants.
We’re no different. We, who contain God’s Spirit, continually require internal upkeep and maintenance to provide a proper home for our Divine inhabitant. I have found that the upkeep I need is a combination of daily prayer, receiving the Eucharist in community, regular Bible study, and serving others in some way. I find that if I neglect one of these things, the foundations start to show visible signs of wear and tear.
From a portable tent in the desert, to a grand edifice in Jerusalem, to within me and within you – God has chosen to live in some pretty wild places throughout history. Most days, I’m not at all sure I’m worthy of being called a Temple, but I’m not about to argue with Paul over it. Instead, I’ll do my best to be a place God would want to live.
Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.