Sorry I'm a day late! And now, to the scripture this week...! (two, actually)
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. (Matthew 24:1)
This is where many of our churches are today. "Look at our building! Isn't it great! We have ample parking, and plenty of restrooms. We have a gym and a kitchen. This is all new carpet, isn't it plush? Check this out...in our auditorium we have state-of-the-art audio/visuals!! You probably came in today because of our sign..."
OK, so maybe we don't actually SAY that. But can we admit that we are awfully proud of our buildings sometimes?
Let's see what happened to the disciples LATER...
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. (Acts 3:1-5)
What did the disciples notice during this trip to the Temple?
It wasn't the grandiose temple. It wasn't the temple gate called Beautiful (I would have loved to see that gate!)
This time they weren't sucked in by the pomp and pride of the temple.
This time, they noticed...a beggar.
And they didn't just notice him, they stared at him and refused to leave until he interacted with them.
Why the change? I think it was because of the difference Jesus made in their lives. They had seen the resurrected Jesus and finally realized that He came to this world not to show off and become its king, but to die for its people.
And when we make this realization, we too will start to notice people...who Jesus came to save. And our buildings won't be the most important things for our deacons to fix...