On Monday of this week many people read Matthew 21:12-13 which shares the story of Jesus running the money changers out of the temple. Jesus, having entered Jerusalem on Sunday, went to the temple and found people profiteering off of others desire to worship. They were holding God’s house of worship hostage with their practices…so Jesus kicked them out. This is one of Jesus’ more memorable prophetic acts.
We read it as a family on Monday and after just a short explanation our kids decided that it wasn’t fair. Now, you should understand that being PKs (preacher’s kids) our kids are not always found of church. Church services in Tanzania are long and in the US they often have to sit through more than one service on a Sunday morning before getting drug to a lunch meeting. But the idea that a people were getting extorted just to be able to worship God was a raw deal, even to them.
Jesus, in kicking out the money changers, was removing the economic barrier to worship.
For your reflection:
Are there any economic barriers to worshipping in your church? Do people have to be wearing a certain fashion to truly be accepted? Do people have to have a certain income to feel comfortable? Is there a minimum amount of offering that gets you a visit from the pastor? Is there a minimum amount of offering in order to get a blessing from the pastor’s prayer?
Prayer: Jesus, may we be as forceful as you were in the temple to remove any barriers to your people worshipping you. Help us to recognize when we, or our church, are contributing to keeping people away from you and be zealous to open up your way to others.