“And when the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.
“Then Solomon said,
“‘The Lord has said that he would dwell in thick darkness…'” (1 Kings 8:10-12)
Who is this God who dwells in darkness?
I was honored to preach this Sunday, July 24, 2016 at First Presbyterian Church-Woodruff. Our text was 1 Kings 8:1-13, on the dedication of the temple by King Solomon, interpreted by the story of the transfiguration from Luke 9:28-36.
At the high point of the Temple dedication, with the full grandeur of Solomon and the people of Israel arrayed in worship, the presence of God so overwhelms the holy place that religious and political ceremony comes to a standstill. The culmination of the history of the people form Exodus to the establishment of Jerusalem, symbolized by the arrival of the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple, is interrupted by the presence of the God they are worshiping.
This is a sermon for a moment of achievement, when we have accomplished a great task after years of dedicated toil, and nonetheless find a dark cloud descending upon us.
Why are we stopped at the very height of triumph?
A light shines through the darkness.
The sermon may be heard here: