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Convenience and Worship

Some scholars believe that the selling of sacrificial animals outside the temple (and sometimes inside the temple courts, specifically in the court of the gentiles, as we see in Mark 11) was an unhelpful practice.

Gentiles would come from far and wide to the temple to bring their sacrifices to the Lord, pray, and worship Him.

The fact that they could buy these animals just minutes before they were sacrificed was a convenience. They didn't have to spend the year thinking about which animal they would sacrifice, they didn't have to travel with the animal, instead they could arrive at the temple and get a pre-approved animal there and then.

Yet, in a turn of events, the vendors had set up shop in the court of the gentiles. The only place in the temple where the gentiles could actually pray and worship. In other words, convenience had taken the place of their worship.

I can see both sides to this; the convenience wasn't good for everyone but this would have genuinely helped out the people who arrived with an animal that was marked as not good enough, leaving them with no sacrifice. Even so, there's a lesson.

I don't know where convenience threatens to creep in and knock your worship to the side; but I know that I'm human, I make mistakes, I get distracted, and the pull of convenience is real.

Online church in bed threatens to be more convenient than getting to church and being in community, worshipping Jesus.

Taking shortcuts at work threatens to be more convenient than bringing the work of my hands to God in worship.

The convenience of someone else's revelation threatens to overtake my hunger to go to the source.

I don't know where convenience threatens your worship but let's be a people of reverence.


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