“‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?’”
The problem with comparing things is there is always something that is bigger and better. My family has lived in several homes. Each of them had their strengths and well…their weaknesses. We have never been about buying bigger and better. It was more about just meeting our needs. Most of these houses were provided to us as part of my job, so we really could not complain. But there is always that lure of something better, right?
The Israelites were mixed in their emotions about this newly renovated temple. Some of the older people had seen the original temple built by Solomon in all its glory, everything overlaid with gold. Fifty-nine years after its destruction, here they were, looking at an “inferior” temple – or so they thought. They were comparing the old and the new. Why? Because they had their own idea of what the temple should look like, not what it was – the house of God.
Don’t be harsh with them. Their perception was their reality. We are the same, aren’t we? I have heard too many people complain about the color of the carpet in church. Others don’t like the chairs. The pews were holier. The stained glass windows are replaced. How dare they do that! And I haven’t even mentioned the lighting or the sound system.
You see, we also compare our image of what we think church should look like. Don’t get me wrong. I like the stained glass and pews. I prefer a well-lit service and a lower decibel of sound. But it is not about that. We are in God’s house. We don’t go to church to worship a building. We go to church to worship the occupant.
I have probably ruffled some feathers with this post. If I have offended you, I apologize. That was not my intention. I did intend, however, to get you to think. What are you comparing? What is your reason for doing that? God’s house is God’s house, whether it is a tarp with plastic chairs or a cathedral. It’s what happens inside that counts. Next Sunday, go to worship. Don’t just go to church. There’s a big difference.
Father, I worship You, no matter the setting. Help me keep my eyes looking up, not around at my surroundings.