(Mark 11:15-19 ESV)
Realizing that, I wonder sometimes how people felt who were witness to this event. People were expecting great things from Jesus. To overthrow the Romans...what on earth was he doing in the temple upsetting commerce and the established way of doing things??? What was with that?
Jesus said enough of this folks. My place, my temple, my site of where people gather for worship, this should NOT be a time to buy and sell and trade and work at making a profit. My place. This place here should be a place of prayer. Where people from all nations can gather and pray. Not this...not this place to steal and rob from folks.. but a PLACE OF PRAYER!!!!
Oh the frustration and anger and sorrow that must have raged through Jesus.
I can understand the chief priests and scribes fearing Jesus. Wanting him to be gone. He was upsetting how things were done and people just don't like that you know? When someone comes in and calls them up on a bad action they are taking. You just kinda want them to go away. Doesn't mean it is right of us, but as a sin-filled people it's a fairly normal reaction.
A house of prayer. That's what our places of worship are to be.
Query: Are they?
I have to admit, i struggle with churches that have coffee shops and book stores that are open on Sunday mornings. I really do.
I know it's nice for people to be able to relax with a cup of tea or coffee during the service. I understand that.
But I also query what it's turning the church into though. A place to make people feel comfortable and relaxed? Or a place of prayer and worship? God doesn't call us to a life of being comfortable and relaxed. He does want us to rests secure in his love and his care for us, but he also wants us to be worshipping him and praising him and telling others of who he is and what he has done for us.
That's not a sit back and be comfortabe place. That's an active, I need help to do this Lord, let me spending time with you rather than with a cup of tea or coffee as I actively participate in this service time.
So I struggle with that concept.
Also as I struggle with my sometimes lackadaisical approach to church. Let's go and get through the service. Don't really want to be here. But Jesus' actions here remind me that I shouldn't be doing that. His house is a HOUSE OF PRAYER...not just going through the motions but it's a place of active communing with God. Nothing passive about that.
Let's not be passive in our worship of God eh?