If we close our eyes and imagine sitting in our sanctuary together, we might just hear Peter Sykes’ triumphant organ and our glorious choir singing. Each organ pipe and each voice offering one note at a time, blended together in an exquisite and soaring harmony. We feel our hearts beating to the rhythm as our lungs fill with a spirit of joy and gratitude.
In our scripture verse for today, we witness the dedication of Solomon’s temple roughly three thousand years ago -- a grand celebration with glorious music. This temple was a fulfillment of God’s promise to King David. Up until this point, the Israelites had not ever known a stationary temple. They had only worshipped in portable tents as they wandered across the land.
We have experienced the opposite: we are missing the stationary temple we have had, and instead are scattered across the land. Our phones, computers and tablets are now our portable tents, with which we connect to God and to each other. Even in the midst of this upheaval, we continue to gather with God’s cloud above and among us, guiding us through these uncertain times. The good news is that these past eight months have reminded us that although worship and our gatherings may be different, we can return to God from wherever we are. We can gather as a community right from our living rooms or kitchen counters to pray and be in fellowship together. It is the gift of this community that makes our many remote temples possible, and promises our return to our stationary temple with an expanded understanding of what is possible in our new and emerging world.
In the midst of this uncertainty, we know this year has looked vastly different for each of us financially. Some of us find ourselves stretched