Ezekiel 45:1-9 (NRSV)
When you allot the land as an inheritance, you shall set aside for the Lord a portion of the land as a holy district, twenty-five thousand cubits long and twenty thousand cubits wide; it shall be holy throughout its entire extent. Of this, a square plot of five hundred by five hundred cubits shall be for the sanctuary, with fifty cubits for an open space around it. In the holy district you shall measure off a section twenty-five thousand cubits long and ten thousand wide, in which shall be the sanctuary, the most holy place. It shall be a holy portion of the land; it shall be for the priests, who minister in the sanctuary and approach the Lord to minister to him; and it shall be both a place for their houses and a holy place for the sanctuary. Another section, twenty-five thousand cubits long and ten thousand cubits wide, shall be for the Levites who minister at the temple, as their holding for cities to live in.
Alongside the portion set apart as the holy district you shall assign as a holding for the city an area five thousand cubits wide, and twenty-five thousand cubits long; it shall belong to the whole house of Israel.
And to the prince shall belong the land on both sides of the holy district and the holding of the city, alongside the holy district and the holding of the city, on the west and on the east, corresponding in length to one of the tribal portions, and extending from the western to the eastern boundary of the land. It is to be his property in Israel. And my princes shall no longer oppress my people; but they shall let the house of Israel have the land according to their tribes.
Thus says the Lord God: Enough, O princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression, and do what is just and right. Cease your evictions of my people, says the Lord God.
Today's scripture reminds me of the importance of setting aside "space" in our lives for God.
In the case of the Israelites, God was commanding actual space for holy land and sanctuary. But, this side of the cross, God asks for "space" in our hearts where the Holy Spirit can dwell in sanctuary.
All too often we crowd God out with all of our worries, cares, fears and sin. We are so busy pursuing wealth and fame, or running away from other things, that we forget to give all glory, laud, and honor to God.
God reminds us to "do what is just and right." This means that we love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves.
As we allow Love to fill up our hearts, the good news regarding Jesus' life, death, and resurrection will overflow out of us and into the lives of others.
As we make "space" for the good news, we will be partners with God in bringing love, joy, and peace to those around us.
And as we make "space" for God, seeking The Kingdom first, we will find that all other things are added unto us as well!
It just makes good sense to give God priority in our lives! God is the only one who loves us so much, He was willing to die for us!
This Sunday we sang a song in church whose chorus was, "Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary. Pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I'll be living, sanctuary for you!"
Let's give God the space and sanctuary in our hearts that God deserves!
Let us pray:
Holy One, thank you that you want to reside in my heart. Please forgive me for cluttering up your space with all sorts of junk. Please clean up my heart today so that you will have space to make me more like Jesus. I love you so much and I promise to share your love with others. I pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen.
If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, “Come to Jesus” @ http://bit.ly/JVhaL