Pastor Ralph J. Mineo, St. Luke's Lutheran Church
My wife, Jo, is known for her love of chocolate! When our grandson, Jason, was seven years old, he came home with a school assignment to say five words that begin with the letters "ch." After his mother, our daughter-in-law Vickie, listened to the five words, she wanted to reinforce the lesson, so she asked Jason to say a word not on the prepared list. Thinking now of Jo's love of chocolate, Vickie asked: "What begins with 'ch' that Nana LOVES?" Jason thought a moment and answered in a very serious tone: "children!" What a surprise Jason's answer was! Chocolate is nothing compared to Jo's love of children! Jason's answer was a look into the internal soul of his Nana!
Most of us are known for external things about ourselves. But God has given us internal blessings, gifts, and qualities. It is the internal things that really, truly matter!
Scripture says "we are a temple of the Holy Spirit." The Bible encourages us to go to external places of worship, but God wants each of us to visit the internal temple of our souls. We find God there!
Jesus once said that "the Kingdom of Heaven is with you." Visiting our inner God-created soul takes effort and time. It takes intentionality to find such things as a calm atmosphere, places of silence, inspiring music that resonates with our souls.
Worship at our external temples is to be designed as a time and place for us to get in touch with our inner souls Personally, I believe Christian growth can happen when we seek the divine in BOTH the internal and external. Neglecting either one is to be incomplete.
The believer knows that recognizing God's Holy Spirit dwelling in both our external and internal temples is living as God intends -- and helps make us really and truly human.
Neglecting spiritual gifts, ignoring the Holy Spirit within, means to miss a vital, rich source of strength, power, healing, and joy for daily living. I've never met a person (including myself) who hasn't been neglectful of this at some time or other. Let us resolve again, this day, to stay in touch with the inner life God has given us!
Enjoy your chocolate, love the children, and have a great time with God today!