A Warning Against Religiosity…
Today I get the blessing of sitting on the porch where I am sure that my dear friend and mentor, Pastor Gary, spent time in devotion and prayer (a special thank you to his cousin Diane who is allowing me to stay here for a week during my sabbatical). It is a beautiful place, with a view of the water and many birds chirping. I wonder how many times, O Lord, You spoke to him here.
Your creation is wonderful, and it is a challenge to look at it and not see Your handiwork! Your blessings in my life are beyond what I could ever expect or ask for.
Today I am reading in Jeremiah 6-7, and in reading it I think of all the churches that are around us that are no longer churches. In Gardner, I believe, there is a church that has been turned into a home. In Fitchburg, a church is now a Buddhist temple. How sad it is that this is so. How is this possible? You give us a warning here in Jeremiah.
You remind the people to go and look at Shiloh. If we go to 1 Samuel 4 we see just how the Lord departed from Shiloh, Hophni and Phineahas (Eli’s evil sons – who were priests of the Lord) were killed in battle, the Ark taken, and Eli died. Look at what was to come of that place?
If we think that having a cross in our sanctuary, or the Lord’s name on our church (or our lives for that matter) will make a difference when we are living in contrast to His will… think again! Better places than what we have constructed in His name are no more because the people stopped following Him.
If we think that having a cross in our sanctuary, or the Lord’s name on our church (or our lives for that matter) will make a difference when we are living in contrast to His will… think again!
But throughout this passage is a continued call to return to Him. To return to obedience. To return to His love. As time gets short, that call becomes more critical. Our church is not His unless WE are His!
Our church is not His unless WE are His!
We need to make sure that we are His people. And we are following Him. That we are living for Him. That we are doing His will. We are now His temple, but if we choose to walk away, He will let us go.