Thursday, 14 June 2012

Thursday Already

These old church doors are from First Presbyterian Church, Brandon.  These are the doors that my Grandmother and Uncles and Aunts and cousins and Dad and Mom and sister opened and closed for years.    But like all good things,  old doors wear out and need replacing.  
I like to sit in the chair on the deck and look at the old doors and reflect on God's goodness.... and the continuation of the Church after so many decades.
Working at a Museum,  the task of any Museum is to preserve the past for the future.   Yet the task of the Church is to actively share the Gospel to be a place for refreshing the people of God.  The emphasis of every Church must not be on preserving the Church building but in actively  inviting the community to worship God.  

Thursday Retreat.....
Prayer:  Holy God, help us to create our homes and our churches as Houses of Prayer.   Help us to create our lives as a shelter for others from the storms of life.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 21: 12 – 17
Jesus enters the Temple to worship and he gets upset.  In fact he gets downright angry.  Jesus overturns the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling birds for sacrifice.       Jesus states that the House of Prayer has been made into a den of robbers.

So why were the money changers and sellers of sacrifice animals present?     Jewish males had to pay an annual tax and it could only be paid in the Temple currency.    Temple currency was not used outside the temple,  so all men (those over 13 years of age) would stand in line to exchange their money for the temple currency.    By the time of Jesus,  the money changers were charging exorbitant fees for changing currency.   The money changers were making a profit.

The same way,  those who were selling doves for sacrifice were charging the people way too much and were pocketing a profit.
Then after turning over the money changers and sellers tables,  Jesus heals those who are blind and lame.    
What a paradox!    

How does this portion of scripture reflect upon our Churches today?    Are we hoarding our offerings solely to keep our Church buildings in fine repair or are we  using our offerings to help the blind and lame and sick?   If we are keeping our tithes and offerings to repair the Church,  are we any different than the money changers and sellers of sacrifice animals during Jesus’ time?

Prayer:  Great God,  may we seek Your guidance this day as we listen to Your Word.   Then guide us to the work You need us to accomplish for You this day.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Many blessings!

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