Reading: John 2:13-22
Scripture: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” (John 2: 17)
Reflection: The temple as a place of worship, goes by many a name. Some common names are church or sanctuary. We respect the sacredness of the place and typically spend a lot of time, energy and other resources on ‘dressing’ our church in preparation for worship. The efforts and enthusiasm are more manifest and more marked at such times when there is a special celebration e.g. Easter Sunday, Christmas Sunday, a wedding or a funeral. On such occasions, we go to great lengths to ensure that everything – the flowers, the altar linen, the sanctuary – everything visible to the naked eye, is in its place and looking good. At the end of that process, we look at the evidence of our efforts and handiwork and we smile inwardly (some outwardly) and feel proud of ourselves and proud of our church.
The same approach is applied to how we dress and present ourselves for such occasions. We spend much time and money, in coordinating the clothes, shoes and other accessories that make our outfits and us, look attractive. And though we may look good most of the time, we ask ourselves “to what end?” For though the outward may appear attractive, God is more interested in what is inside. We know this because God told Samuel that the Lord does not look at things in the same way people do, for we look at the outward appearances but God looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) makes us aware that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. By that same argument we should seek to ensure that all aspects of our beings and our bodies reflect the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and act in honour of God. We should keep our bodily temples free of sin and shame so that by our conduct we do not dishonour God and abase His name. We know how difficult it can be to face the daily challenges and temptations of the world in which we live. But we also know how rewarding and liberating it feels when we, from a place of trust and absolute faith are able to rely on Him to help us, for we know that only with His help are we able to overcome these challenges. Our temples become living walking testimonies of His grace and mercy.
Meditation: Great is Your mercy towards me…. day after day…
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray to You for strength as we face and go through each day. Only with Your help can we overcome the doubts and fears that get in the way of our faith. We need You, Lord, to guide our thoughts and actions so that nothing we do will bring shame to Your name or Your temple. Thank you, Lord, for Your ever present help in times of need. Amen.
The St. Jude’s Writers
St. Jude’s Church
Anglican Diocese of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
12 March 2021