8th February: I Kings 8.22-23,27-30; Psalm 83; Mark 7.1-13
Solomon claimed for himself the promises God had made to David. His prayer at the consecration of the Temple resounds with piety that may or may not have been authentic. His accomplishment of building the Temple, after all, would be followed by the building of temples or shrines to the plethora of pagan and foreign deities adhered to by his harem of wives and concubines. [I Kings 11.1-8]
Still, at the heart of Solomon’s oration is a petition which we may well make our own for the places, dear to our hearts, where we have met and communed with the Holy God. ‘That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there.’ Not everything that even the best-intentioned of us do in Church arises from pure hearts. But Solomon’s prayer is apt as he begs the God who listens to our intercessions, when thou hearest, forgive.