Luke and the Lost
it was a long trip, the most miles traveled on any vacation we ever took with our three kids. We went north to Ohio for a church event for one week, then hooked up our camper behind our van and headed west from Ohio through the Badlands of South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore. We (being the elementary teachers their parents were) told them as much as we could about what they were going to see on this trip.
Our youngest at the time, began looking out the window as soon as the van pulled out of the driveway in Oklahoma! Around every corner, about every fifty miles, she would shout, is that Mt Rushmore? “Are we there yet?” “Ooh, I see mountain (hills in Missouri), are those the faces of the presidents?” “I think I see them!” When we finally reached Mount Rushmore, she was speechless. “Wow, is it really there?” “Or is that just a picture they put up?” She couldn’t believe what she was seeing right in front of her. She had waited so long to see what we had described for miles.
We then traveled on to Yellowstone National Park, seeing the beauty of God creation, the animals roaming freely, in the park. The kids stayed close to the windows, trying to catch a glimpse of every animal that does not typically roam Oklahoma lands. This three week adventure taught them to look and to see, to focus their attention on God’s creation, and to catch a glimpse of Him in the process of traveling along. This trip was long but full of so many memories. But the point is, when our youngest had Mt Rushmore in view, she couldn’t believe her eyes. She almost missed it….because it was so big, so incredible before her.
Jesus, the long awaited Savior, came to earth for a personal visit, sent by God, the Father. Jesus was God, so God made a personal visit to His people. We learned yesterday, many missed it. They couldn’t believe their eyes. They were so caught up in the language of religiosity, they missed the relationship they could have had with the person of Truth who loved them so much He went through cruelty and extreme pain, going to hell and back again to save us from our own selfish sins. He longs still to have a relationship with us. What have we turned the church (at large) into? Are we a “religious bazaar”? Have we set up shop to impress? Are we missing it? Are we missing HIM?
Let’s finish the rest of chapter 19 by reading carefully and thoughtfully with evaluation followed by repentance.
Luke 19, The Message
45-46 Going into the Temple he began to throw out everyone who had set up shop, selling everything and anything. He said, “It’s written in Scripture,
My house is a house of prayer;
You have turned it into a religious bazaar.”
47-48 From then on he taught each day in the Temple. The high priests, religion scholars, and the leaders of the people were trying their best to find a way to get rid of him. But with the people hanging on every word he spoke, they couldn’t come up with anything.
Dear Heavenly Father, I repent of being overwhelmed by the largeness of Who You are, the religiosity of church, and will pay closer attention to the simple relationship you long to have with me. You are not impressed by my mere impressions of You. You want all of me! I am in awe that you would love me this much, without conditions! You are not of this world. Thank you! Help me to live in this world without being of it, too. I am one who is “hanging on every word You spoke” and still listens to every word you still speak to my heart. I love you, Lord. Thank you for your personal visit that saved my soul. I will meditate on your word all day long and into the night. Continue to be with us…In Jesus Name, Amen for I believe.