How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! Psalm 84:1 

Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. Matthew 18:20  

We have today two verses with somewhat different pictures of where God dwells. In Psalms, there is a longing for the beautiful place where God is thought to dwell – the temple in Jerusalem. The writer is longing to be able to be there, to be in the very place where God has His dwelling place. The temple is beautiful and a fitting place for the Lord.   

Then in Matthew, Jesus tells His disciples that God is right there among them. Especially when needed to settle conflicts within their group. The verses just ahead of our verse for today have some details about problems within the church group. Just like the Jewish tradition noted in Deuteronomy of needing at least 2 witnesses to accuse someone, Jesus says that there should be 2 or 3 people who listen to the dispute and try to mediate. The good part about this is they aren’t alone in doing it. There is the promise that when 2 or 3 are gathered, in the name of Jesus, He will be there to help in bringing harmony among the people involved. To ratify their decision.  

The strength of the church is not in absolute numbers – or bigger is better. God has promised to be with any number of believers, from one to many. Two or three praying together and working out problems and trust that Jesus will be among them, listening, and answering prayer. Maybe not the way we expect, but answering none the less. God is not confined to a beautiful temple in one location. We have the Lord with any and all of us all the time.  

Lord most high, you so generously dwell among your people. Thank you for not being bound by walls or buildings. Most gracious and loving Friend, when we have conflicts with each other, you are there with us. Today we pray for a closer walk with you. Bless our gatherings with your Spirit, and dwell within our hearts wherever we go. Amen.  

Chris Gabel