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Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 252: People look east!

Today's Reading: Ezekiel 42-43

Ezekiel's vision of the new temple is just about completed. The structures are all in place and the interior decorating is done. It seems to be a splendid fixture.

But it is as dead as dry bones until...

"Hark! Look! Here comes the LORD and all his glory, coming to enter into the temple."

A church is just a building without the presence of God. It is just another structure without the movement of the Holy Spirit. It is just dry bones without God's breath to give it life.

Our ancestors of the faith realized this well. They saw the coming of the LORD as magnificent as the sunrise after a long night. In hope, they looked east; set their eyes toward the future dawning.

For this reason, most temples, cathedrals and churches face east. They face the future. They face the dawning of God's glory, longing to catch a glimpse, if not be filled with God's glory.

One of my favorite Advent hymns by Eleanor Farjeon catches the spirit of this vision of Ezekiel long ago.

People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

Wake up early tomorrow and catch the sunrise.

LORD, may your glory fill me
with awe and beauty.
May your temple receive
its LORD and priest.

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