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S (SCRIPTURE): Matthew 24:1-2
As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. 2 But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
O (OBSERVATION): Jesus preaching in Jerusalem takes on a life of its own as he heads to the cross. Here Jesus points to the most sacred of material possessions, the temple, and announces they will be demolished.
A (APPLICATION): I was talking with a friend and colleague of mine as he spoke about a church he served in Colorado. This started with some other colleagues who were discussing sanctuary renovations. This particular church has a chapel that was the first sanctuary. As they plan to redo the plans for everything not many people voiced opinions about the chapel. Or at least they were diminishing in numbers. This is when my one friend spoke up and said he ran into this with the church in Colorado. An elderly lady in his church stopped the discussion of redoing the sanctuary by pointing to the baptismal font and the old alter and recounting the history of her children being baptized and married in the chapel (tearfully). It became such sacred space that no one dared to touch it after that, the church stopped its plans for redoing the sanctuary. As he told this story, he then said a friend of his asked him, "how will that elderly woman feel when the chapel becomes a Mexican restaurant? How will she be celebrating the past history of those sacred acts then?" Sure enough, the stopped progress of redoing the sanctuary held others in the church from moving forward, numbers dwindled, the church closed and the property sold to.....you guessed it, a Mexican restaurant.
Jesus insistence on the temples demolishing was a symbol of the sacredness attached to a building rather than the relationship announced in Jesus' coming. He was telling his disciples that the largest symbol of God's presence won't matter if you miss it when God shows up (in him).
P (PRAYER): Lord, help us see you constantly, remove the idols in our lives even and especially when they are attached to things and not our relationship with you!