The Building is God’s
By the time of the First Reading, David is King. He has won a lot of victories, and he is rich and prosperous too. His house is built of wood and stones. But the ark of God is housed only in a tent.
David thought about the fact that God had only a tent while he, the King, had a real house; and so he made a decision to build a house for God too. He made it his responsibility to take care of God, you might say.
And God laughed at him. God told David, “I will build you a house!” And so he did. The Son of God, born of David’s lineage, is that house. The kingly line of David’s lineage finds its everlasting fulfillment in Christ. And every Christian finds a home there, too, in the body of Christ that is the Church.
David’s son Solomon did eventually build a house for the ark of God in Jerusalem, and it was magnificent. But any earthly building, even the great temple in Jerusalem, is puny by comparison with the house that God built for David and for all God’s people in Christ the Lord.
David did well to revere the ark of God, just as we do well to revere the Church. But it was foolish of David to feel that it was his responsibility to care for God. God wants our love, but he does not need our protection. Without our help, God is still himself Lord of heaven and earth.
Like David, we can love the holy things of God, and we can give our service to God’s Church. But it is not our responsibility to make the Church big, strong, and successful. If we think that God’s church, or anything built for God, will lose and go down without our building it up, we will be as foolish as David in the First Reading.
The building is God’s.
Eleonore Stump is Professor of Philosophy, Saint Louis University
**From Saint Louis University