Scripture: 1 Kings 4-7
Key verses: (5:13-18) King Solomon conscripted forced labor out of all Israel; the levy numbered thirty thousand men. 14 He sent them to the Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts; they would be a month in the Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. 15 Solomon also had seventy thousand laborers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hill country, 16 besides Solomon’s three thousand three hundred supervisors who were over the work, having charge of the people who did the work. 17 At the king’s command, they quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation of the house with dressed stones. 18 So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites did the stonecutting and prepared the timber and the stone to build the house.
Reflection: Solomon’s first major task was to build the Temple of the Lord. To achieve this architectural feat, Solomon employed professionals from every area of the region and every walk of life. The workers were accomplished professionals to forced laborers and together they contributed their knowledge and skills to help build the Temple. Through this one important action, Solomon involves numerous people to help build and sustain his kingdom. Whether or not it is Solomon’s intention, employing so many people from all walks of life built a community and not only a temple. Solomon put people beside each other that had never met and would not have met and together they built something amazing. Doing this work connected them to each other and the vision for the kingdom. We can do so much more when we join together.
Our preference is often to choose to work with the same people, trusted and true. We know how they work or they know us. What if we were to look at our boards, volunteer roles and invite someone new to join us with a different voice, perspective and maybe even vision? Solomon’s workers sometimes worked for a month at a time for seven years. Let’s think smaller but with big impact. Where do you need to hear another’s voice? Where is someone not represented? On this Easter Monday, let’s live into the resurrection knowing it brings new life.
Prayer: O God, for your love for us, faithful and true, which has brought us together and opened our eyes to the wonder and joy of all humanity, we give you thanks. May we be Easter people, embracing resurrection. In your sons holy name we pray. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].