Day 35: Monday
Prepare the Temple
Read: Matthew 21:12-17
You might need to re-read today’s passage another time to fully appreciate the absurdity of what is going on in the Temple, the most holy physical space for the Jewish people of Jesus’ day. First, Jesus drives out the money changes and dove sellers: people who were literally profiting off of worship. Then, after Jesus begins using the Temple space appropriately—as a space for healing, gathering, and worshipping with God’s children—Jesus was chastised by angry priests and scribes. It seems these religious leaders had gotten their worshipping priorities out of order!
As Jesus prepared the Temple for true and proper worship, we too must prepare ourselves when we come before God in worship. As a pastor, I am guilty of often coming into worship with the wrong frame of mind: worried about the service order, thinking of the people I need to talk with after church, overly conscious of my outward appearance, and even irritated if things don’t go as planned. When worshipping at home, it’s worse: I’m thinking of all the things I need to get done instead of setting aside time to connect with God.
Jesus is inviting us to prepare our hearts and minds to fully worship God. Just as He physically had to clear the Temple of everything that did not honor God, He longs to clear out the clutter from our lives that prevents us from fully turning to God in worship: the worries, the checklists, the fears, and the concerns. Allow Jesus to prepare your life for fuller worship this week.