Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves!” The blind and the lame came to Him in the temple complex, and He healed them.
Matthew 21:12-14 HCSB
Father help me to clean house, clean out the clutter and negativity, and clear out those individuals who are sapsuckers. Help me to align myself only with people, groups, activities, and organizations that meet Your requirements. Father help me to move past nonsense so that I can focus on my purpose and Your mission. Let me grow to take on life with the passion and energy as my shepherd Jesus Christ. I give You all the glory. Amen.
Jesus was not playing around that day. He came in there tossing things around and kicking folks out. The church is a place of refuge, healing, teaching, prayer, and worship. So he kicked out the money hungry opportunists that preyed on others, and opened the doors to those who actually wanted a relationship with Christ. He kicked out the have’s and elitists and welcomed the have not’s—the “least of these” who were oftentimes ignored, overlooked, ostracized, and mistreated.
Let us not forget the purpose of the church.
Let us not be consumed by what outfit Ms. So-and-so is wearing, the committees and activities that we are involved with, or the chicken dinners sold after service. Let us not be consumed by filling the church with and catering to celebrities and politicians who get front row treatment both in the parking lot and in the sanctuary. Let us not be consumed with finding and raising money to buy the pastor a brand new luxury car.
Let us not be consumed by any of these things especially if we aren’t first (and mostly) obsessed with filling it with and taking care of the sick, poor, shut in, black sheep, homeless, parolees, those with limited abilities, and the disenfranchised.
A larger church means nothing if you aren’t doing major outreach to the community. Building a huge monument while you drive by chaos shows God your priorities. Putting your mostly impoverished congregation further in debt to pay for another location, the pastor’s car, or something else superficial places the church in the same shoes of the money changers and dove sellers Jesus kicked out.
A large congregation is an amazing thing if the community that surrounds the church reflects the same awesomeness, and you see members of that community thriving within the church. Think about it.
Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.