Jesus was a disturbance in the normalcy of holy living. One day he came into the city, stirring up the exuberant crowds and drawing attention. The next day, he entered the Temple and ran out the money changers, those who made a living selling what people needed in order to worship at the Temple. Jesus stayed there, teaching, his presence irritating the religious authorities so much that they wanted him dead.
But what was it that Jesus was disturbing? Was it not the hustle and bustle, the status quo of religious life, the typical way the religious people observed, kept and honored a high, holy day? Jesus interrupted these faith-filled traditions. Why? Because the way these religious occasions were being kept actually kept away the people Jesus came to love and save.
There are times we insist on doing things “the right way,” we insist on keeping the traditions we have always kept, and for good and faithful reasons. But it is so very easy for the ways we observe our faith to supersede the One we have faith in. It is easy, and common, for our practices to become more important to us than Jesus. It is also very easy for our religious ways to prevent those whom Jesus loves and died for from coming to know Jesus.
What religious practices are you insisting on keeping that might stand in Jesus’ way? If Jesus walked into our churches, would he side with us, or with those outside our walls?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, search my ways, and drive from me the sacred practices I cling to that are standing in your way.