And Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”
Luke 19:45–46, ESV
Jesus isn’t against people buying and selling things, but when the Church sells a false Gospel and places a price on God’s mercy in order to enrich themselves is where a line is crossed. The people selling in the temple were enriching themselves at the expense of hope. We have seen this trend throughout history. At the time of Martin Luther, it was indulgences that got His ire the most because it was fleecing the poor with a false sense of what Jesus’ death did. Jesus didn’t die so a person could sell a relic that will bring someone healing. All the statues in the world or visits to certain places will do nothing to ensure salvation. I am not saying that having these things or doing certain things can’t enrich faith, but they have no salvation credit. Worship and places of worship are meant to be set apart. They are not truly the Church, but when they are filled with the people of God, the Church is present. We join together as the Church in a space set apart because we are set apart. In these spaces, we worship the One who is worthy of our worship. We are not meant to give out of compulsion, but out of a desire to give to God. The people of Israel gave in abundance freely and had to be asked to stop when the Tabernacle was being created. The space where we worship is meant to be a space where we can be built up in the Christian faith and fully realize our need for Jesus and the forgiveness that He gives us. We come together in prayer to uplift one another, pray for healing and care for ourselves and others and thank God for the blessings He has given us. These all are not done for a price above what has already been paid. No seed gifts for blessings are required. The price of admission is a heart dedicated to the one who gave it all.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.