In the book of Genesis, the garden of Eden is portrayed as a high place where heaven and earth are one, and human relationships reflect this unity. But Eden is lost when humans rebel against God, so the unity between heaven, earth, and all humanity is fractured. God’s work throughout the rest of the Bible is all about recovering this lost unity. Israel’s tabernacle and temple served as symbolic Edens as they allowed for human and divine space to overlap. Because of Jesus, this place is no longer limited to one location, and the unity of Eden can be experienced wherever God’s people gather together in his love.

This is beautiful, but it also kind of sounds like a fantasy, especially when we acknowledge the Church’s brokenness and failures. For this week’s Bible study, we’re inviting you to reflect on what it really means to be a unified temple of God. When followers of Jesus bridge the dividing lines of race, class, and nationality, when they honor each other as equal members in God’s family, they become a place where heaven and earth are one. Listen in to the recording below to understand more about the rich symbolism of the temple and God’s Eden ideal for humanity.

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