Yesterday started the week that in the church we call Holy Week. This week starts with Palm Sunday, when Jesus enters Jerusalem and for one of the few times in His life, receives the praise that He is due. It starts off on such a high note. Even in many of our churches, we see children entering in with palms, singing and praising. But
But as the week passes we see things begin to lead to the cross, as was God’s plan all along. Several things happen on this Monday of Holy Week, but I wanted us to read one of the things that you are probably most familiar with. The cleansing of the temple. Listen to what it says in Matthew 21: 12-13:
And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
People in Jesus day (and before, and since) had grown to use the temple not just for a place of prayer, but as a place for gain and for profit. Folks were selling the animals used for the sacrifices (with a markup, you know) because of that people were feeling further and further from God.
So, Jesus drove out those that were keeping folks away from being able to worship and pray.
Because He knew that nothing must stand between people and God. Nothing. Not their sin. Not their failings. And not other people.
So, this Holy Week, what should this verse mean to you? Well, that’s between you and the Holy Spirit. But, perhaps, it may mean this. Who is that person that you know that has never felt welcome or invited in church? Who is that person that you know that has always struggled to connect with God? Who is that person that just needs to know that God loves them?
Maybe this week you should pray for them, and invite them to join you this Sunday for Easter. And when we invite them to join us for worship on Easter, that’s not the end of our job, but it’s just the beginning. Because then, we need to do all within our power to make sure that they feel welcome. That they feel a part. That they feel home.
There are folks all around us, every day, that Jesus died to save. As believers, as the church, it’s our job, it’s our calling, to love them, to seek them, and be there. In this Holy Week, love. Pray. Invite. And make folks feel welcome.
And let’s see what God does with that.
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