What does zeal for my Father’s house look like today? I think it might be time to get the book off the shelf and approach Sunday with more reverence and focus than is typical of the 21st century. Based on what I read in John 2, it might be what Jesus would do…
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
The first thing I thought about when I read these verses today is my concern and skepticism about Christian bookstores. Faith has become a market unto itself. Slap a fish logo on a tea cup and you can cash in on the King. I understand that there are equipping and other resources which build up the church available at these stores, yet I still think it’s over the top.
And I don’t think it always honours God. When someone is making money through worship, which was the case in John 2, we can expect Jesus to become upset. Zeal, the Scriptures call it.
And it should consume us also.
Church ought to be a holy place where we get serious about encountering God. We are pretty good about this during service, yet I have to confess I have tapped on the odd email or text during the sermon or announcements from time to time. I have seen others on Facebook. What are we doing?!
If we are doing our business during church time, when are we encountering God? Is there any concept of Sabbath and holy ground left in our midst?
I wonder if a zealous challenge is in order, and I am going to start with myself. This Sunday, I am going to put the smartphone on vibe and put it in my coat pocket. No peeking. And I am going old school with my Bible – you know – the one with the actual pages. And after service, I am going to engage with people only on spiritual things – no chit chat. Only Spirit chat.
Zeal for our Father’s house should start within…