If you just had a short time to live, what would be the most important thing you'd want to say to those you loved? No, this isn't a post about my hospice work. I was thinking about Jesus entering Jerusalem, knowing he just had a few days left to teach. Since it is Holy Week, I thought I'd explore some of those last teachings.
One of the things he did was to try to clean up the temple. He went there and found people using it as a place of shady business. He was upset and said to them, "It is written,, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you are making it a den of robbers." He was so angry he overturned their tables and chairs!
All my life I've been told that the people are what is important at church, not the building. I believe that. I've even had some strong opinions about all the money that goes into a fancy church building that could've been used toward mission work such as feeding the hungry. However, from this passage I also have come to believe that it is important to have such a space as a church or temple, set aside as a sacred place of prayer and worship. Out of respect to God, that place is to be set apart and used to his glory. By honoring the place, we are honoring our God.
Since Jesus used some of his precious last days of teaching to make this point, I think we are probably supposed to take notice. What do you think about this?