Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Don't Come to MY Church Sunday!?

"No Trespassing"

"There is NO Re-entry"

"No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service"

Have you ever seen one of these signs? Have you ever been the victim of one of them?

I'll never forget waiting in a long line to enter an establishment for lunch, only to be told I was not properly attired. (I had on a tie and a cardigan sweater. But a JACKET was required.) I was fuming mad, never wanting to return.

Sounds a little like what's going on in Deuteronomy 23 that reads:

"No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the LORD."


"No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation."

Can you imagine us posting such a sign on the door of our church? If your mother and father weren't married when you were born you can't come in. And if you have physical defects, don't bother showing up because you wouldn't be welcome. Can you imagine the groups that would be picketing outside of our building. You and I might even join them!

So what's the deal with such prohibitions? Don't we want EVERYONE to worship the One, True God?!

A hint to this passage may be supplied in verse 14:

"For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you."

Throughout the first chapters of Deuteronomy, God has taken extreme pains to show the people He is unlike anything or anyone else they have ever known. God has chosen them to be his very own people, his children.

And in response to the choosing, God wants, expects, and even demands the very best we have in return.

I'm so thankful that the prophets in the Old Testament, and Jesus in the New, show us that God has thrown open the doors and delivered the invitation to people of every race and every physical category.

But in our excitement to hear the invitation to everyone, let us not forget that God is holy and calls us to be the same. God has given us the very best and it is the very least we can do to offer our best in return.

Will you give God your best today? Take a moment and ask how you can give God your best at home, at school, at work, and in the world today. Wait silently for a moment, and see if you don't have a response throughout the day or evening about what God would like you to give to Him.

Grace & peace

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