O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart… Likewise when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a distant land because of your name—for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm—when a foreigner comes and prays toward this house, then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you.
-1 Kings 8:23, 41-43a (NRSV)
The passage above comes from what is possibly one of the most beautiful prayers we have recorded in Scripture. Solomon prays these words as he is dedicating the Temple to the work of God.
In these few verses, Solomon speaks in confidence about something: foreigners will “hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm,” and what they hear will be so utterly compelling that they will come from miles away just to experience the God they’ve heard about.
When was the last time you heard of someone walking through the doors of your church because they heard of the work He was doing? Not the work you were doing, but the work He was doing? When did the House of God stop being a place people—even the enemies of the people of God—flocked to because they heard of His great power at work there?
Make the Church that place again. Make the Church a place where the power of God is so outpoured that people can’t resist coming to see what’s happening. And most importantly, make the Church a place where even the people who are radically different (your enemies, even!) are welcomed, loved and told that God hears them.
That’s the House of God. Make the Church that House.