Pentecost +13 - Year B
After inserting tab A(rk) into slot T(emple), with plenty of references to David’s favor, Solomon’s humility, and a Horeb memorial, we hear some of the purpose of the Ark-filled Temple.
It is to be a focusing lens for G*D’s eye or conduit to G*D’s ear. When prayers are prayed “toward” an Ark-centered Temple, that which is prayed will be attended to. This is a great way to centralize power.
Note that the deleted verses 31-40 consistently equate sin with bad things happening to individuals and the state. This does, at least, recognize some predictable problems that will be coming down the pike: breaking faith within the community, being internationally prideful, disease and death arriving.
Around these realities, here too strongly linked with sin, is 1) a human trait of narrowing a view on G*D’s presence and interpretation of such and 2) the power of a foreigner’s prayer, albeit as an opportunity for them to recognize an answering G*D and convert. Neither of these are particularly virtuous, but at least they don’t turn regular occurrences in life into sin.
As you think about where you focus on G*D to be most readily accessible, can you develop a mantra or ditty that you can hum wherever you might be that your accessible spot is always in view. This will continue the journey back from Temple to Synagogue to Ark in your heart — your contract with G*D.