Day 724 – House of Prayer
He wasn’t always “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild” (Charles Wesley). Today, we meet an angry, even aggressive, Jesus! But why was Jesus so angry at the temple traders?
Jesus’ words (v.17) combined quotations from Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11. Isaiah 56:3-8 dealt with the inclusion of Gentiles in God’s covenant. Jeremiah 7:1-11 made it clear that God rejected superficial lip-service and required faithfulness. Making animals available for the sin-offering and changing money so pilgrims could pay the temple tax had begun as a service to facilitate worship. Over time, it had degenerated into a booming business for merchants and money-changers. Their trading activities were carried out in the courtyard reserved for the Gentiles, hindering them from worshiping God. That’s what made Jesus so furious.
Are our churches a house of prayer, where all kinds of people are welcomed? Have we settled for a superficial piety that fails to meet the spiritual needs of modern day pilgrims? Does our liturgy create an exclusivity that keeps people out? Let’s work on welcoming others.
Dear God, open my heart to welcome all kinds of people. Help me invite them to taste and see how good you are…Amen.