“I will build you a house” God says to King David in yesterday’s text. David, who has risen to power, has moved the capitol to Jerusalem and now lives in a palace he calls a house of cedar. He is bothered by the fact that while he lives in luxury, God lives in a tent.

This year we can relate to the indoor/outdoor debate in a way we never have before. As the weather gets colder, we wrestle with how to stay connected to friends and family when being outside together is more challenging and probably much shorter duration. About a month ago, I began taking my blanket to restaurant patios, jokingly being called “Linus” by friends. Like many of you, my fold up chair lives in the trunk of my car. Like God, we are becoming more mobile as we no longer invite people into our homes and we are barely using our church building. The sanctuary is now a recording studio and the building is primarily a day care center.  

We are also subject to the elements. When you plan outdoors activities, you don’t know if it is going to rain or snow or if the wind will be blowing 20 mph. It helps us see how fallible we as humans can be – how much is not within our control. How God is much bigger than we are.  

 In this story, we see a picture of God who travels, lives out of doors, moves with the people, and does not need the kind of permanent shelter that we do as humans. We are learning a hard lesson about how the church is not a building and it is not the only place to find God. God is where the people are – in our homes, in the outdoors, in our tents and RVs, in the homeless encampments in parks and along parkways. God doesn’t need a house while we as humans need stability and shelter from the elements. We need reminders of God’s presence, whether it is the sanctuary where we used to gather weekly, the cross, the community, prayer, and God’s Word.

 Where are you seeing God’s presence around you today?