Kristen, early in the morning, while fixing coffee, “Hmmm. Chad, your creamer doesn’t seem to be making my coffee look very creamy.”
Chad, quizzically, “Wait … I don’t own any coffee creamer.”
Kristen, indignant, “Yes you do. Look right here.”
Chad, trying not to laugh, “You put that in your coffee? Did you read the label first?”
Kristen, annoyed, “Yes, of course I read the label. It says ‘Kroger Coffee Maker Creamer.'”
Chad, “Try again, sis … it says ‘Kroger Coffee Maker Cleaner.'”
I meet every week with other youth pastors for prayer and today we focused on Matthew 21:12-13.
There’s something that should make us really stop and wonder at Jesus’ intensity in cleansing the temple. Like, that he used a whip!?! Intense.
Steve reminded us that the place of the cleansing was the area of the temple that was set apart for the prayers of the gentiles.
Interesting that Jesus was so passionate to make sure that “a house of prayer” was the core experience of the gentile outsider when they came to the Father’s house. It seems that he didn’t want them to be confused, distracted, or miseducated about the Father’s heart toward relationship with them, the people. I was convicted that my life and often my ministry to outsiders is much more about adding to our group, “transacting” to gain profit for the kingdom, seeking volunteers to come and commit to doing the work of ministry that I lead, etc.
This is only my opinion, so take it as that, but I don’t think that Jesus was so much against the transactions [you know, providing the worshipers with their offering stuff] as he was against the profiteering – selfserving – enterprise building hearts hard at work there. What the gentile people really needed to experience was an environment that communicated God’s heart toward them …
encourageing them to bring their most intimate, passionate, and pressing needs to a God who not only cared, but who was kingly enough to provide.
We prayed to for our lives and ministries to be places where people learned about a God who is intense about his relationships with his people.
We prayed for specifics … that we would be about seeking God’s will in this network and away in our respective ministries … to specifically encounter one another in relationships that invite us deeper into relationship with the Father.
We prayed for a shepherd’s heart … caring for the one and being willing to leave the 99 to retrieve the one when it’s lost.
We prayed for James’ and Daniel’s new positions, for Casey’s illness, for the city’s joint Palm Sunday worship services, for the university ministers, for Steve and the ministry of Pray Lubbock.
We prayed thanksgiving for the fog … and asked for God’s tangible presence to be so thick as to actually change the speed and course of our lives.
A house of prayer – our own bodies, our ministries, our churches … pray with us that God will help us to make it plain that we’re about being a place where the people are invited to offer themselves fully to Him.
Casting His nets together,