Poisoned Worship

Lou Lotz

READ : Mark 11:15-19

Would that we were as concerned with the ecology of our worship as we are about the ecology of our world. We are rightly alarmed at the ways in which we poison our world, but how about the ways we poison our worship? We have spoiled our physical space, but what about the spoiling of our spiritual space?

Mark says that when Jesus entered the temple he “looked around” (11:11). What an enticing subject for a painting: Jesus standing in the doorway of this great house of worship, glaring at the money changers and animal sellers, scowling at this religious bazaar pretending to be worship. Jesus “cleansed” the temple because worship was poisoned. The money changers and animal sellers used worship to make a profit. Instead of worship transforming people, the people had altered worship, corrupting it with commerce.

How often we treat worship, not as a high and holy experience but as a means to selfish gain. It is an escape from worry, an hour of esthetic delight, a place to make business contacts, or the means to respectability and social advancement. Such motives are not evil. Our main motivation is to glorify God and strengthen our spiritual life.


Lord, help me to worship with honesty and integrity. Amen.