Each morning as we gather around the breakfast table, we read the words together. Nourishment for the day. Food for thought. Ideas to chew on through the hours to come.

I open the book and read of David, the warrior king, who loved God and was loved by God. David, who had in his heart a desire to build a temple for God, but because of his bloody reign, God said no. He said no to this man whose heart he loved.

I read then of Solomon, David’s son, who asked for the gift of discernment, whose wise decision-making skills save babies from unfit mothers, and I read that he is the one to build the Lord’s house. A home for God.

I read of the extravagance, the gold and jewels and imported lumber and the days of labour and the skilled craftsmen who are commissioned (conscripted) for the job. Of the seven years to build God’s home, and of the thirteen years to build his own palace, and I wonder a little.

I would have chosen David, I think.

I love David’s heart, too. I love his fierce, fire-hot passion. I love the kill-the-wild-animals-with-his-bare-hands, battle-weary, Lord-honouring, naked-dancing, harp-playing, poetry-writing complex person that he is.

He’s the one who desired for the Lord to have a home.

But Solomon, he’s the one who gets it done. He is not his father, but he gets it done. And the home is built.

It’s in the celebration, though, that I see a bit of the father in the son, maybe?

When David moved the ark of the covenant into his city, he danced before it. He was wild and uninhibited and passionate to the point of embarrassing his wife. He let his heart rule his body.

When Solomon moved the ark to the temple, he celebrated in a different, but equally extravagant way. He sacrificed before the ark. Scripture says he and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded and counted.

Imagine.

We butchered turkeys and chickens last weekend. There was a lot of blood and gore and smell, and that was just twenty birds.

Imagine the scene. The road slippery with the blood of animals so numerous they could not be counted. The smell, the noise. My senses can not even begin to comprehend.

Solomon, for all that his wisdom and his position seems to remove him from the gritty reality of life, became wholly involved in this celebration. I see him – the one chosen over his bloody father for the building of the temple – I see him covered in blood. Sacrificing and sacrificing and while I don’t understand all of the significance of it, I understand the celebration.

Sometimes celebration must move beyond sedate. Sometimes the heart must be wholly engaged. Sometimes, dignity must be abandoned and, while a wise and discerning a heart might be desired in real and ordinary life, bloody hands are sometimes required.

In my home, with these ones that I love, I’ve had to let go of sedate from time to time. I’ve had to step outside of my introverted little self, outside of what feels natural and comfortable, and get my hands and knees a little dirty.

For someone who shoots her arrows at a simple life target, extravagance is a little hard to aim at. But once in a while, like David, like Solomon, it is important. Because a safe and sedate story is not that interesting, really.

Once in a while, it seems, God loves an extravagant celebration.

May my celebrations honour him. May I allow my heart to break free from time to time of the cage in which I have trained it to live. May my home ring with crazy, dedicated, heartfelt love and life. Extravagance.

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