Church or Marketplace?
I wonder about this passage as we have books for sale in the entry hall at King of Peace. Is there a difference between what was taking place in the Temple which Jesus opposed and that which is now taking place at King of Peace? I hope so, but that could be self-justification.
The doves were sold out of convenience for those wanting to honor God's commandments by offering the required sacrfices. We know from Luke's Gospel that Jesus own mother and father offered two doves in thanksgiving for his birth, though we don't know whether they brought them in or bought them in the Temple. The things we are selling are books not otherwise readily available in or county, which can help someone draw closer to God in this season of Lent. Is there any difference between the two?
I don't think that our current practice crosses over into making our house of prayer into a marketplace. But it is always worth considering our actions in the light of the Gospel. What do you think? Have we gone to far? What about churches that have a Starbucks in the lobby? I once bought a Starbucks coffee in the lobby of Chicago's Willow Creek Community Church while there for a conference. Would Jesus have joined me for a Cappuccino or tossed the Lattes out in the gutter?
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church