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 sit the church council or board meetings would he read reports and approve of the way God’s possessions are 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 all who had turned God’s house of prayer into a den of robbers. It goes without saying; sin still creeps into the life of the Church. 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 to 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.
So many people continue to search for the perfect church. So many others are quick to point out the misbehaviors of others within a family of faith. Ridding the Church of corruption and conflict begins with personal repentance. Only then can we begin to turn the tables on that which needs cleansing.
Almighty God, cleanse the thoughts of our hearts and minds, that we may perfectly love you. Amen.
Image: Nave, St. Mary of the Mount; Pittsburgh, PA. (2013)