Our gospel reading for today is part of Luke’s eschatological discourses.  Eschatology means anything that is related to heaven and the last days.  It starts with the Jews’ admiration of the Temple and how beautiful it was adorned and Jesus starting to prophecy over the destruction of the Temple and the situation around his Second Coming.  He said that there would come a time when the beautiful stones of the Temple would be razed to the ground and nothing would be left.  This prophecy came true around 70 A.D. and started another Jewish Diaspora. To the Jews, hearing Jesus’ message of the destruction of the Temple was a hard word and is not easily acceptable.  The Temple for them is the living sign of God’s indwelling presence among his people.  To speak of the destruction of the Temple is to speak of God abandoning his people and to this Chosen Race it is unbelievable.  But I believe that the destruction of the Temple was necessary because the Temple has served its purpose.  At the coming of Jesus, our relationship with the Holy One is no longer restrained within the Temple liturgy—He has come as Emmanuel, the God in our midst and in the details of our lives.  God had to discard the Temple so that He could be found roaming our streets.  For us Christians, this speaks of our images of God.  The Temple is a great and beautiful architecture but it is distant and cold and impersonal and conveys an image of God that is just like that.  God would destroy our vain imaginations and our misguided pieties.  He would lead us to a place where he would challenge even our notions of who God is and what he should be doing so that we would have a truer and thus more loving picture of God.  Anything less than that would be cast away.  He’d rather have the temples of our heart as temples unadorned than be adorned with beautiful things that are at best irrelevant and at worst cruel.  He is Emmanuel and he walks among us.

Prayer:
Lord, when my image of you is distant and less than loving;  when my imaginations and pieties have been misguided and I failed to realise that you are God who walks in the ordinariness of our lives, come Father.  Come and destroy the unnecessary adornments of the temple of my heart.

Challenge:
Do you find it hard to see God as concerned with helping you find a parking space and other small details in life?  Why?  Examine what kind of image of God you have and compare it to the God of the Bible, the One who is near.