What would the elderly people in our church say?
Reference: “The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea that were at the temple of the Lord and they carried the bronze to Babylon.” 2 Kings 25:13 NIV
Explore: When I was a chaplain at a local primary school we used to invite the children into our church building for Christmas and Easter services. It was great to see the church filled to the brim with children and we always made the services fun and vibrant.
The children would always scamper to the front to get the best seat. If there was not an easy way through they would clamber over the pews to get the most desired seat.
It always made me smile as I thought about what the elderly people in our church would have said if they could have seen this display of enthusiasm.
You see, when the church building was being renovated members of the congregation pledged significant amounts of money for pews, carpet, extensions and stain-glass windows.
These children didn’t care about the finery of the place, they just wanted their favourite seats.
I can see how people would have thought this to be disrespectful, but they just had no idea of how important the church building was to some of its members.
Application: Often we judge people based on our own priorities. We are shocked when people have sex before marriage forgetting that saving themselves is just not something they consider of high importance.
When the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem they saw things for the basic objects they were. They saw all the bronze articles for their wealth, not for the part they played in the worship of God. And, let’s be honest, at that stage the Israelites weren’t doing a great job of displaying their dedication to worshipping God.
It is important for us to have standards and priorities in our faith, but we need to be careful when we put these expectations on other people. This is when we sound judgmental and narrow minded.
Showing love and understanding is always a better approach to take. We may not value their priorities but let’s respond with grace so they can see how blessed we are when we hold to our priorities.
Prayer: Lord, when we follow You our priorities change. No longer shall we look to build a kingdom here on earth but may we live with love and grace so that we work to build Your kingdom. Amen.
What different priorities do you have to other people in your life?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.