Take down the Curtain

I’ve been thinking some more about My Body Being a Temple. I’ve been wondering about the implications of the temple verses I know so well. Not the ones with cubits and gold bricks. I, like most evangelicals, post evangelicals, emergents, Jesus lovers, hang out in the new testament, and only occasionally visit the old.

Among the things I   never remember reading but somehow learned about Jesus and the temple is this: on Good Friday, when Jesus died the current that separated the place where God dwelled with the rest of the space was ripped top to bottom. I also picked up the bit about how only Jewish dudes were allowed in the temple, and only the Levites allowed behind the current. When someone did go behind the current the other folk tied a rope around his ankle so in case you dropped dead from the Glory of the Lord. That way, they could retrieve your body without having to face God themselves.

I’ve been thinking about my body as a temple, the space where the Holy Spirit dwells. I’ve been thinking about how the life and death of Jesus granted everyone access to the deepest parts of the temple. I’ve been thinking about the curtains I put up in my heart, the places where I say “that is far enough” “you can only enter the outer courts” “oh, you, yes proceed, come close.”

I can feel the curtains lately. I can feel myself pulling that curtain around my heart. “You don’t belong here.” I stoop around my heart, clutching the curtain, in an attempt to protect it a little. Instead it all makes me feel a little numb, this posture is difficult and uncomfortable, it stops the blood flow both ways.

I can see myself as I walk through my day, assigning how close exactly everyone can get to this temple of the Lord most high. You, come here, close as you want, experience this love that the Lord gives through me. You, you may only come so far, maybe tie a rope around your ankle, we aren’t sure you belong here…but we can try. You, you may not even come into the temple square.  I don’t have time to show you God’s love.

Sometimes my boundaries and courts are drawn nobly, but most of the time it has everything to do with me. I don’t want someone who is not like me. Or more likely, I do not want someone who mirrors something ugly in me to come that close. I do not want someone who has hurt me allowed back into the deepest places.

But that isn’t the way this is supposed to work. The Lord tore the curtain with His great sacrifice, and I am not supposed to go around re-constructing them.

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