Daily D – Mark 11:17
Mark 11:17 Then He began to teach them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!”
Everyone likes to feel in control. Common psychological disorders are often related to issues of control. The Jews of Jesus’ day demonstrate control issues, don’t they? In a land owned and occupied by Rome and its soldiers, there was one place they considered their own, and all their own, and only their own.
The one place Gentiles could gather to draw near to God in the Temple complex was cluttered with financial exchange agents, livestock and birds for sale for the sacrifices, along with their noises and associated smells. Only the hardiest of worshipers could worship in an atmosphere like Walmart on Christmas Eve.
Jesus spoke from Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11. These are not happy texts. They reflect the bad old days leading to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.
God was not then nor today the exclusive possession of any people group. He loves everybody and wants every man, woman, and child to know and experience him. There is no Master Race. There is no Whites Only partition. There is no xenophobia with God. His clear declaration is Love Everybody Everywhere Always. His desire includes tearing down all boundaries and barriers to his presence, his mercy, his grace, and his love.
Extract from your faith practices anything aimed at elevating you and your kind with any manner of exclusivity. Remove from your worship anything distracting from who God really is and what he really wants. Add nothing creating distance between you and others or requiring extra steps for them to get to God.
Somehow in this Easter Week of 2022 we still need these reminders.
Just as death is now dying and will one day pass away forever, may the sins of racism wither and die in our day. Let’s say it again and rejoice in its truth: God loves everyone and so should we.
I will tear down barriers constructed to prevent others from coming to know and experience God.
Our Father, thank you for loving me, an outsider to those insiders of that day when Jesus cleansed the Temple. Empower me to tear down barriers and to open doors for those who have been shut out from your grace. Expand your love for everyone in the heart of every true believer and for all who will come by faith into relationship with you. Amen.
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1 Chronicles 22:9-13 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”