If Jesus were to enter your church today, what would he find? Would he find a pastor who is diligently leading worship? Would Jesus find pews filled with faithful children of God? If Jesus were to attend the church council meeting would he read reports and approve of the way everything God provides is managed?
When Jesus entered the temple in Jerusalem, he found it to be anything but the house of prayer it was intended to be. Jesus turned over tables and drove out those who had turned God’s house of prayer into a den of robbers. So what is it that needs to be driven out of our churches; what sorts of abuses need cleansing?
Just as there was no place for the abuses of the temple, there is no place for such behavior within the church. Jesus calls God’s people to faithfulness; he calls us to follow his example and become imitators of his ways. Jesus teaches us that our worship is to be true, our love for God and neighbor genuine. When we fall short, we must remember the one who cleansed the temple is also the one who offered his life for the sake of God’s people.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, rid us of attitudes that turn us away from you, that we may keep your house a place for worship and prayer. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Nuottila, Pastor of Union Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC.
Image: St. Mary of the Mount; Pittsburgh, PA.