Temples of the Holy Spirit

"One of these truths that hit me between the eyes is so obvious and so straightforward that I should be embarrassed even to want to point it out to you. And you will say, "It is odd, isn't it. Does it take so long for the penny to drop?" Please bear with me. Jesus breathes on his disciples. Jesus says, "As the Father sent me, even so, send I you." We who are the disciples of this one are the bearers of the Holy Spirit. We are sanctuaries; we are God-carriers We are precious beyond computing. So we should not just respect but revere every fellow human being.
In some of our churches you know how they have a special part of the church, a special chapel; they will have a tabernacle, and there will be a light in front of this tabernacle. Normally, when we reverence the altar we just bow, but when we come before the sanctuary where there is this lamp burning, alerting us that there is a reserve sacrament there -- we genuflect..
If you and I took our theology seriously, this is the point -- we bear God in us; we are sanctuaries; we are temples of the Holy Spirit. We shouldn't just shake hands and greet each other in the normal kind of way. We ought, each one of us, to genuflect before one another because we will be saying, as the Hindus and the Buddhists say, "The God in me greets the God in you."
And so, friends, to treat human beings as if they were less than this, is not just evil, which it is; it's not just wrong, which it is; it's not just painful as it frequently must be for those who are victims of injustice and oppression, but for you and for me, it is a veritable blasphemy because it is as if we were spitting in the face of God. And so, what Jesus is saying there is explosive. It is to say, "Everyone, everyone, without exception, everyone, even the most unlikely, even the most undeserving -- the down-and-outs, the derelicts, the louts, the drug addicts, the substance abusers, the prostitutes, the pimps -- if we had but the eyes to see, we would discern even in dark conditions, that they were God-carriers, precious in the sight of God, with a value that cannot be computed. But where we might have felt we needed to recoil, we should, in fact, genuflect, kneeling before them as Saint Francis knelt before the beggar" (Desmond Tutu)
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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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