Osiyo!! Take a look at my Librars Donum workshop with this short video! It is a behind the scene look at my hollow book safes along with a glimpse of my new book letters and clocks. All the new inventory has been added to my Etsy shop so please go over and take a look!! Wado!
A place where the spiritual world meets the physical world
A metamorphosis story of a temple of dirt to a war tent to an immovable golden building to blood covered cross to living stones to nothing at all.
A Portable Temple
Living stones handcrafted and shaped by the Creator. Stones joined together not by mortar but by the Spirit who hovered over the deep and indwells those who pledge themselves to the King of Kings.
Movable temples designed to leave the safety of the garden on a mission to proclaim the kingship of the Creator and to defeat the remnant of evil that plagues the land.
A Resurrected Temple
Though once dead, the Creator lives yet again. Though once drained of life with blood oozing across the grains of wood and falling into the dust below, the Source of Life rose from the rocky shelf having won the war with death.
Look to your left. Look to your right. Look behind you. Look in front of you. Look around at all the people in the land. Look at the temple of the Lord.
Though we may be scratched and dented like a steel mirror, the Spirit of the Him-Who-Breathed-Life-Into-Dust will polish our lives, removing the scratches and dents till we reflect the light of the Crucified Creator to all of creation.
Portable Resurrected Temples
“Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God.” –St. Peter the Fisherman
The temple was gone
No more sacrifices. No more priests.
In its place stood a great city that was not a city.
Rather than being a city of streets, stop lights, building, and cars. This was a city of living bodies placed together in perfect completion.
It was a city adorned as a bride.
The long awaited Wedding day had arrived and the city was prepared to see her husband face-to-face for the first time. The veil was being lifted and the fog of the ages was burned away by the light that flowed from his face.
The physical and spiritual worlds that were ripped asunder all those years ago were kitted back together. All of creation was restored with evil, sin, injustice and death destroyed. New life rippled through the air, radiating out over the land and sea – crossing miles in a blink of an eye before traversing the vastness of space in a heartbeat.
Heaven itself was no more.
Earth and heaven had become one with the Creator King dwelling among his people on the land. It was a day that was greater than the original day when humanity was formed out of the dust. For on that day, the King had simply visited the land. Now the King lived on the land.
This change in residency rendered the temple obsolete.
Why would humanity need a temple to remind them of the King when the King was standing in front of them?
Why would we need a temple to worship at when we could climb into the lap of the King?
Why would we need a temple to run too when in trouble when death and evil have been purged from creation?
“There was no sign of a Temple, for the Lord God—the Sovereign-Strong—and the Lamb are the Temple. The City doesn’t need sun or moon for light. God’s Glory is its light, the Lamb its lamp!” –St. John the Revelator
It was quiet.
The sun had stopped shining.
Creation held its breath for everything had changed. Only it was as if nothing had changed. New and yet the same. Different but not.
The mysterious steps of the dance had reached their climax with the Creator King suspended between heaven and earth. The Temple of God had been beaten, stabbed, and nailed to a tree with his blood left to pool on the ground.
Then a whisper was heard.
A whisper that grew in power as the silence of the ages was broken by a death cry that cut through the barrier between the Creator and creation, the physical and spiritual.
The curtain that hung in the great temple near the skull hill had been ripped into two. The sword that blocked the path of paths had shifted; leaving a needle hole through which humanity could walk.
The echoes of that day run wild both backwards in history as well as forwards into the future. And those who stop to listen to these echoes die.
And it is a good death.
In dying we allow the echoes of that day to raise us up again as living stones of the Temple. Not a brick and mortar temple like Solomon’s temple; rather a temple build of people in which the Spirit of the Creator King dwells.
We – humanity – had been restored in part to the original design in which we were made. With Jesus the Messiah as our chief cornerstone, this temple was one that spread out forwards and backwards through time, encompassing all tribes, nations, tongues, genders, races and the like.
It was a metamorphosis to end all metamorphoses.
The end of the world had come and the Kingdom of God had invaded human history!
Nothing would ever be the same again!
It was the beginning of the restoration, the start of the end in which the mission of the Creator would be completed.
One of the wonders of the ancient world. Grand in every way. Covered in gold and fine stone, it was a temple worthy of any god in the heavens above or the earth below. And it belonged to the Creator King who was the ultimate King of Kings over all of creation.
Only he didn’t want it.
His heart – nay, his passion – was to reside among his people. To walk and to talk with each one as they plowed the fields, cared for the sheep, washed the dishes and took out the trash. He was – and is- an inmate King who loves his people more than they could ever know.
And his people…well, while they loved him greatly, they were disappointed, and perhaps even a bit embarrassed, at their god’s lack of a proper etiquette. Everyone knew that gods were supposed to reside in massive temples whose shadows covered the land.
So they build him such a temple.
And being a loving Father, the Creator King praised the works of his people like a father or mother who gushes over the crafts of a young child. For while the building was nowhere as nice as the original temple he had built, the Creator know how much it meant to us.
We, humanity, needed something physical – something massive – something awesome – something that stood out – so that we could remember who we worshiped. For we have a short memory and a tendency to forget our mission.
So we build a temple.
A place where we could go when we are sad…a place where we can go when we are happy…a place where we could be reminded of what was important.
And God blessed it.
He used our perhaps-not-so-good desires to create something beautiful. A symbol of something that was and is and would one day be.
Solomon’s temple: a place that called into memory the original temple while looking forward to the ultimate temple in addition to standing strong to remind the people of Him-Who-Should-Always-Be-Worship.
The temple was moving.
Humanity – the original portable temple of the Creator King – had left the garden. And creation cringed in fear.
It wasn’t the act of leaving the garden that made creation fearful for humanity was created and given the mission to leave the garden. No. It wasn’t leaving that was painful, but how we left.
Rather than leaving in peace, humanity was leaving in shame. In a fit of rebellion, we had decided that it would be better to be kings and queens rather than serve the King.
It was a costly decision.
Yet the middle of our rebellion, the Creator King did not abandon us. He left the garden with us; pledging himself to us. The mission of the King to destroy all of evil, sin, and even death itself, was still in motion.
Two steps back, one step forward, the dance of the ages had begun.
Step by step, minute by minute, day by day, year by year, time marched on until that Day came. It was the Day of the great Non-Battle of the Nile when the gods and goddess of Egypt were judged and found wanting.
After this non-battle, the Victorious Creator King asked his people to build him a house so that he might dwell among them. This house, however, was different than all the other houses of the mightily spiritual rulers of the time.
It was a mobile tent. A war tent of such.
It was to be a place from which the Creator King could direct his people – his army – as they continued the dance of declaring his glory to the creation and purging the world of injustice, evil, sin and death.
The tabernacle: an echo of the garden from which humanity came.
The tabernacle: a portable temple that dwelled not in the towns of the rich, but among the people.
The tabernacle: a physical reminder of the Creator King who bound himself to us.
Our world is comprised of the visible and the invisible; of things that we see and things that we don’t.
Sadly it is common for us to try to separate these realms by focusing only on one piece at a time. We have our physical lives of work, play, food, games and the like on one side. On the other, we corral our spiritual desires, releasing them on Sunday or on that odd day when we need prayer.
The opening verses of Genesis paints a different story of our world.
Rather than having two separate worlds (physical and spiritual) existing next to each other, we have one world comprised of both elements. The physical and spiritual are intertwined and woven together to the point that one does not exist without the other.
And the ruler of this intertwined world is none other than the Creator King who brought order out of chaos and defeated the spiritual forces who sought to rule over creation.
In the aftermath of the creation battle, the Creator King reached down into the newly formed mud and formed a shape. Then as the wind held its breath and the earth trembled in delight, the Creator bend over and breathed life into this shape.
Humanity was born.
Female and male. Physical images of the invisible Creator created as a constant reminder to all of creation – physical and spiritual – of who was, and is, and will one day be the ultimate King of Kings.
The original temple was created that day.
A physical building made of flesh and blood in which the spirit of God would dwell. It was to be a place dedicated to the worship of the Creator. A portable temple commissioned by the Creator to go throughout the earth, proclaiming the kingship of God and defeating the remnant of evil that plagued the land.
Humanity: the original portable temple of the Creator King.
When you hear that word, what do you see in your mind’s eye? Nay, what do you feel? What emotions, or lack thereof, come to the surface when you hear the word temple?
Does your mind automatic go to the Mormon temple down the road? Do you bring your temple recommend questions? Does that word bring thoughts of Hindu temples in India? Or the ancient Roman temples of Europe? Perhaps you think about Solomon’s temple from the Bible and wish you were there to watch the sacrifices? Or perhaps you recoil from horror of animal blood dripping off an altar?
Is it a good word or a bad word? A word of pain or a word of joy? A word of the past? Or of the present? Or perhaps even a word of the future, a coming reality?
A single word with multiple meanings. Multiple emotions.
In a dry sense the word means nothing more than a building dedicated for religious practices. The building may be grand or very simple. But it is a building nonetheless. However the emotional symbolism of the word cannot be ignored as it seeks to pull us into a story that bigger than ourselves.
A place where the spiritual world meets the physical world. A place where the gods of the sky come to bask in the worship of their followers. A place to which people run when in trouble or toward which they bow when celebrating victory.
What does that word mean to you? What emotions do you feel? What images come unbidden to your mind? And, perhaps even more importantly, what gods live there? Whose temple is it?
It’s all about fried chicken.
Juicy, buttermilk batter, on-the-bone, deep-fat fried chicken – the kind that clogs your arteries the moment you take a bite. To a Southern boy like myself, that is a description of a piece of mouth-watering fried chicken.
Imagine my surprise when I came home one day a few months into my marriage to a meal of fried chicken only to find a piece of lightly battered, boneless, skinless chicken breast fried in a small amount of olive oil on my plate.
I quickly discovered that to my health-conscious wife, “fried chicken” simply meant chicken that was fried. What happened? How could the two of us have two totally different images for the same food dish?
Each person on this earth has a unique view on the world around them. This “worldview” is a framework of ideas and beliefs through which a person processes information…
It’s like when you read a story or a portion of Scripture and something really jumps out at you like a billboard. Yet, when you show a friend the same passage, they don’t see anything.
What does the Bible say about the temple of God? Have you thought about it before?
This evolving installation explores the metamorphosis of the Temple of God as seen throughout scripture.
I had a few moments to kill, so I decided to take a close look at the paintings at the art gallery inside my local church. Every quarter this gallery hosts a new exhibit displaying the work of artists from within and without the church community.
The current exhibit is about God’s Creation with paintings and sculptures of types and skill levels reveling the different aspects of the Creator King. Next to each work of art is a short artist statement with a little glimpse into the heart behind the piece.
Meandering through this gallery, I saw oil paintings, mixed medium pieces, water colors, sculptures, pen and ink. I also saw gorgeous pieces by professional artiest next to those done by recreational amateurs. Everyone was invited to submit a piece for consideration in the exhibit.
As I wondered through this wonderland of visual stimulation, my feet suddenly stopped working as a huge smile cribbed across my face. There in front of my eyes was the best piece in the whole gallery. I had found my pot of gold, the foundation of youth, the Holy Grail of Creation art hanging on a wall surrounded by fleeing clouds of color and texture.
You may think I jest, but I do not as the joy I felt when I first saw this painting comes back even as I write these words.
What was this painting that I saw that brought me such joy?
Well, I’m glad you asked as I took a picture of this jewel which I now display below along with the artist statement:
So, you may ask, why did a child’s painting stop you so suddenly? That is a question to which there is no easy answer…. Perhaps it was because I have had several science versus religious discussions lately in which Genesis was used as weapon on both sides… perhaps my emotions were triggered by being a father with two young children….. perhaps I have no eye for art and should be banned from all art galleries in the tristate area….. perhaps I’m just a crazy fool with very little gray matter between the ears…
Or perhaps the smile came from the simple manner in which a child can standup and say “God made the sun.” Complexity is removed and simplicity is embraced along the mystery that surrounds all simple answers.
Perhaps…just perhaps we humans of the 21st century could stop trying to figure out everything for a moment and just relax in the mystery of a Creator Love. Yes, physics and science are wonderful pursuits and should be studied and discussed (it sadness me to have to state that as I don’t see science and following Jesus has being opposites…but if conversations over the past month taught me anything, it is that this false dichotomy is still embraced by folks on both sides of the steeple door.)
Perhaps…and this is my last perhaps… I should just let fathers of old guide us along this journey around the sun.
“In love did He bring the world into existence; in love does He guide it during this its temporal existence; in love is He going to bring it to that wondrous transformed state, and in love will the world be swallowed up in the great mystery of Him who has performed all these things; in love will the whole course of the governance of creation be finally comprised. And since in the New World the Creator’s love rules over all rational nature, the wonder at His mysteries that will be revealed then will captivate to itself the intellect of all rational beings whom He has created so that they might have delight in Him, whether they be evil or whether they be just.” – St. Isaac of Syria
“God is everywhere. There is no place God is not…You cry out to Him, ‘Where art Thou, my God?’ And He answers, “I am present, my child! I am always beside you.’ Both inside and outside, above and below, wherever you turn, everything shouts, ‘God!’ In Him we live and move. We breathe God, we eat God, we clothe ourselves with God. Everything praises and blesses God. All of creation shouts His praise. Everything animate and inanimate speaks wondrously and glorifies the Creator. Let every breath praise the Lord!” – Elder Joseph the Hesychast