Prayer for the day
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his Name;* worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Scripture for the day
Jesus stood in the temple court, the place where the worship of YHWH God reached its climax and pinnacle. He saw the grandeur of Herod’s temple, the beauty and the enormity of what had been constructed to the glory of the name of God, and he saw what had been done with it. He knew what was required, knew what was supposed to be happening, and knew the gravity of what was supposed to happen.
But what he saw was that things were not the way they were supposed to be.
God’s work in the people of Israel was designed for them to glorify him, to lead other people to him, to bless the nations and to bear witness to the true goal of humanity that is the redemption of all things by God.
They were supposed to be ruled by God, but when they rebelled from that reality, God gave them kings who were supposed to rule them well and lead them to greater spiritual devotion.
Yet that too, failed. It was not a failure on God’s part, but a failure ont he part of the leaders who refused to follow his laws and directions, a failure to recognize their purpose and be united to it. It was a failure to recognize the way things were supposed to be.
Jesus chastises the money-changers for exactly the same thing. They had taken the way things were supposed to be and destroyed it, twisted it until it was virtually unrecognizable. They had turned the worship of God into a profitable affair.
Jesus’ condemnation of the practices of the money-changers and the condemnation the writers of the First Testmanet level at the kings are one and the same: they fail to recognize the way things are supposed to be and participate in it.
Let us be instead a people who see the purposes of God and work together with him to see them come to light in us and through us.