Day 3

Day 3

‘But will God indeed reside with mortals on earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house I have built.’ 

2 Chronicles 6:18

Too Big?

Solomon’s temple is finally completed.  It is an extraordinary achievement – it has taken years to build.  The walls of the sanctuary were lined with cedar, on which were carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and flowers that were overlaid with gold – even the door hinges were gold!  It housed the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant rested.  Yet, despite its magnificence, Solomon questioned whether it was big enough for God.   How could  the Almighty possibly reside on earth? Christina Rosetti in her poem ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ observes the same conundrum, ‘Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain’.  Surely, God – creator and keeper of the Universe, is far too big to be contained?

900 years after the foundation stone of that Temple was laid, there is an unexpected answer to Solomon’s question.  God himself will reside on earth with mortals – but not housed in the heavens or in a magnificent temple, but in the form of a tiny baby.   As the Genie in Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ puts it; ‘phenomenal cosmic powers, itty-bitty living space’.   God as one of us. Wow!

Helen W

  • Church of England.
  • Diocese of York.