‘I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.’
‘For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to tach in Israel statutes and judgements.’
This is this spirit, upon which our renewal as a church depends. This desire to serve keeps our worship alive. In the local church, which is our altar, we are building Jerusalem – as its extension to our lives.
‘For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body…. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.’
Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans shows us that the ‘first builder’ of our Temple (internal, external temples) is the Spirit of God. This is the hidden, vibrant DNA of salvation history. When accepted, it is the revitalising blood-circulation of our struggling (‘groaning’) history.
The good news is that there is always a parallel better future, which has already begun! Let us listen to Spirit’s yearning in us for its fulfilment.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..