Peace is the one thing that is lacking in many churches today. Perhaps it is because it is one thing that is lacking in many believers today. Or, perhaps, I am projecting this on others because of a lack of peace in my own life.
The ultimate purpose of the Word of God is not theological information but heart and life transformation. Biblical literacy and theological expertise are not, therefore, the end of the Word but a God-ordained means to and end, and the end is a radically transformed life because the worship at the center of that life has been reclaimed.
This morning I read the story in Mark 11 of Jesus cleansing the Temple. He was angry with those who were using worship at the Temple for their own gain. Since most of us haven’t been guilty of selling birds or running a currency exchange in the back of the church, we are afforded the opportunity to smugly look down on those rascals that Jesus tossed out.
What is important is that I had it ALL. I had been a practicing Christian since my youth. My faith was growing. My relationship with God was solid. I had a great income. My children, though typical teenagers, were doing well. All the boxes were checked. Life was sweet UNTIL a mistake at work was made on my watch. The bottom fell out of my life. My heart figuratively stopped beating and God began to perform Spiritual CPR in order to save my life.
It is precisely because Jesus died and rose again that I can have hope to be other than I am. For what could I pray if there was no hope that my sin has been conquered? For what could I pray if Jesus did not rise and demonstrate that sin and death are vanquished? What hope have I without the Cross and the empty tomb?