Lenten Reflection for 2/28 – Worship with Intention
Reading: John 2:13-22
Worship can take many forms. We go to church services and participate in church activities; individual and group prayer; community outreach service, and bible study. Worship can be an individual commitment but the focus should not be inward. It is God’s will that we participate in being served and serving others.
It is easy to lose focus on worship and our relationships with families, friends, coworkers, and God with distractions like money, studies, resumes, and jobs. For example, updating our resumes, from time to time, is a good way to prepare for future career opportunities in the business world. My resume has gone through many changes over the years. In the job search we market ourselves with our resume to the hiring manager. In this process, we can often face the fear of rejection in our efforts to advance our careers.
Jesus’ ministry was so much more than a “marketing campaign”. He did more than market himself, or simply market God’s message to groups of believers and non-believers, including the Jews. He reached people through healing, teaching, through casual conversations, and through relationships. In the end, He faced rejection, punishment, and execution from the people he tried to reach; but through His redemptive sacrifice, we won’t face rejection from God.
In today’s reading, Jesus was angry with the Jews and their dishonor of God, as he cleared the Temple in Jerusalem’s marketplace. The Jews were allowing their selfish needs and fears control their lives rather than their faith in God. John makes the point that Jesus is the temple and we need to honor God’s love for us by developing a relationship of trust through prayer, repentance, service and faith.
Our worship should be intentional and focused on God alone, without distraction, to honor his gifts of love and forgiveness. We should take time to invest in our relationships and grow in faith with the same diligence and effort we take to promote our careers. When we experience challenges in our faith we can face our fears through prayer and reflecting on God’s Word rather than allowing our fears to guide our thoughts and decisions. The church is not meant to be a marketplace but a time to come to Jesus with intention to be joyful, prayerful, and thankful.
Author: Dawn Childers