I'm learning so much on my travels through Matthew. As I re-read chapter 23, I'm finding it a little less than encouraging, but so important that we learn from the mistakes of past religious leaders.
Jesus is clearly helping those who claim to teach about God, and understanding about core faith.
You know the word "core" right?
The Core is the essential, central, most important part of an organism.
For example, the human body's core is important to functionality of every other part.
If your core is weak, then your movement is weak.
It effects everything from athletic performance to posture.
An athlete must have a strong core to compete at the highest level of whatever sport he or she chooses to endure.
Likewise, faith must have a core.
See if you can see the core of the religious leaders of old…
"Woe to you, blind
guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but
if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You
also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if
anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.' You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it." (Matthew 23:16-22)
It seems the core of the faith was in buildings.
Maybe in objects.
Probably in programs.
But lest we forget the God of heaven and earth created ALL THINGS. In Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-20)
A comprehensive view of God shows us that He lives here on the earth around the alter, around the gift, and in our heart.
He should be in the middle of all the worship we give; rather than worshiping an alter, an object, or some sort of gift.
May we stop our distractions, and focus our core attention on the God who sits on the throne of heaven.
May we worship the God who created the Universe.
May we not forget the power, the majesty, and the essence of His Spirit that dwells with us in this world.
In everything that has breath, may we worship Him today.