Daily Devotion, 4-6-2020

Pastor: Connie Belmore

READING: Matthew 21:12-17

In Matthew’s account of Palm Sunday, it is immediately followed by Jesus entering the temple and clearing it out from all of the money changers and those selling for profit. I have heard people try to justify their own anger by referencing this Scripture and saying, “Well, Jesus got angry! Look what he did to the temple!!” First of all, this passage never really says Jesus was angry but he definitely did take action against those who were misusing the temple in these ways: taking up worship space and crowding out worshipers so that they could buy and sell there; selling sacrificial animals at marked up prices taking advantage of those who truly were there to worship, and; bumping up the exchange rate for special temple coins. The bottom line they were interfering with worshipping God.

Jesus, if he was angry, is about the only one who can carry out righteous indignation… the rest of us who become angry in church usually have some other motive that is not really about righteousness, although there may be self-righteousness. However, we do learn from Jesus in this reading, the true purpose of the temple and, for Christians today, the purpose of church. First, church, in this passage, is a place of worship and prayer (vv. 13, 15). The church is also a place where healing in all its forms, takes place (v. 14) and a place of teaching and raising children in their faith (v. 16).

As we enter this time of Holy Week, let us think about our place of worship. Have we made our church into something other than God intended it to be? Are we remembering the true purpose of the place we call church: to pray to and worship God; to heal the sick and lost; and to teach others to have a child like faith? And when we return to our places of worship, may we return with a renewed and refreshed perspective.   

Dear God, keep us ever mindful of you as the focus of our worship and your house, a place where we gather together to do just that... worship and adore you.  Help us to also take seriously the functions of the church both in the church and outside the church: to heal and to teach.  We ask this in Jesus' name...Amen!

  July 2021  
This Week's Events
Bible Search