My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
For the People
Then he brought me out into the outer court and led me across to
the four corners of the court; and behold, in every corner of the court there was a small court.
(Ezekiel 46:21 NASB)
In the four corners of the court there were enclosed courts, forty cubits long and thirty wide; these four in the corners were the same size.
(Ezekiel 46:22 NASB) There was a row of masonry round about in them, around the four of them, and boiling places were made under the rows round about.
(Ezekiel 46:23 NASB)
Then he said to me, “These are the boiling places where the ministers of the house shall boil the sacrifices of the people.”
(Ezekiel 46:24 NASB)
This is a description of the reconstruction of God's temple and
ultimately where the Priests were to be located when making sacrifices
for the people. Out in the furthermost corners of the courtyard were
small private courtyards and it was in these places that sacrifices
could be boiled. These courtyards were designed to be near the people
who needed them the most -- the ordinary people of Israel.
God designed the ministry of his holy temple to be near to his
people -- so that it would be convenient for them to fulfill the
requirements of the law. The church today must also evaluate whether
its ministry is close to, or far away from the people who really need
it! Sadly, in some cases, we have become ivory towers -- places which
we have made very nice so that we ourselves can enjoy them. We have not
put the place of ministry as close to the street as possible, but have
sequestered our worship of God behind walls and fences.
Think about this -- what does it take to get to the place of worship
where you are? Over a year ago I visited a church on a Sunday morning
in the United States. I drove around the building wondering where I was
supposed to enter. I really wasn't very sure. Finally I decided on a
particular door. I made it to that door and I believe it was a main
entrance. That day there was an adult there with a child helping them
to "greet." The only problem was that the adult never said a word and
allowed the small child to hand me a bulletin, which was sweet, but that
was the end of it. No adult talked to me. I walked in feeling a little
bewildered. I wasn't sure where to go next. I found some signage and
made my way upstairs to find the sanctuary. While many people were
there, still no one talked to me. Finally, I walked into the sanctuary
and found a place to sit -- all the while wondering if I'd just taken
the seat of regular "saint" and might be chided for my location. Now, I
am a person who is familiar with attending churches -- usually at a
different church every Sunday -- and if making my way to the place of
worship was this uncomfortable for me -- imagine what it must be like
for those who don't know Christ!
We must do everything that we can to take God to the people who need
God. The good news which followers of Christ have to share is for the
people -- it is not for us! We must remember that worship is about
worshiping God and that the best news we have to share needs to get out
to the people who need it. We ought to make our places of worship
convenient for those who need to know Christ. We ought to work to break
down every barrier which we may have created that makes it difficult
for people to come to Christ. This may mean rethinking what we do
inside the walls of the church, but it may also make us rethink the fact
that most ministry is what happens outside the walls of the church. If
we spend all of our time tweaking the things we do in the church
building, we will never get to the people who need the Lord, who are
outside. Make things accessible -- for the people!
Lord, please help me to have eyes to see the world the way you do and to take you out into that world. Amen.