Original photo from Hagia Sophia on Wikimedia
Daily Reformation, Acts 7:44-49
From the Reformer
He proves that we are the temples of God from this: that God of old promised to the people of Israel that he would dwell in the midst of them. In the first place, God cannot dwell among us, without dwelling in each one of us, for he promises this as a singular privilege—I will dwell in the midst of you. Nor does this dwelling or presence consist merely in earthly blessings, but must be understood chiefly of spiritual grace. Hence it does not mean simply that God is near us, as though he were in the air, flying round about us, but it means rather that he has his abode in our hearts. If, then, any one objects, that the particle “in” simply means among, I grant it; but I affirm that, from the circumstance that God promises that he will dwell among us, we may infer that he also remains in us.
—John Calvin, Commentary on Corinthians
Pulling It Together
A few years ago, the authorities burned a village church and arrested the pastor and some of the church leaders. The church was faced with the question of where now to worship so that they would not be further persecuted. They decided to worship in the relative privacy of some nearby woods. The next Lord’s Day met them with falling snow. Soon, in a small clearing, the woods filled both with snow and praise.
The world is filled with beautiful temples, cathedrals, basilicas, and churches. Yet in some parts of the world where Christianity is persecuted, the authorities tear down worship structures. The buildings are demolished but they cannot destroy the Church. God dwells in the midst of his people (2Cor 6:16), wherever they are, and that makes a church. If they are in a building—fine or common—or secretly worshiping in the middle of a snow-filled wood, God is at home.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers