I woke up this morning with the Palm Sunday blues! I get them every year at this time, because of what I see Jesus doing on Palm Sunday. It’s so dramatic and challenges my comfy Christian lifestyle to its limits
Jesus riding, into Jerusalem on a donkey, went into the Temple and caused havoc! He drove out those who’d hi jacked the one place in the city that was supposed to be ‘God focused’ turning it instead into a religious money making institution. He knew that God’s longing was for the Temple to first and foremost be a ‘place of prayer’. And to get it back to that focus demanded ruthless action.
We’d rather do anything than pray! After doing this, getting rid of secondary activities and putting prayer back at the heart of the Temple, Matthew tells us that something wonderfully , magnificently, awesome then happened – the place was suddenly thronged with people in need – the lame and blind flocked to him. They felt they could come now; the atmosphere of the place had obviously changed!
God’s heart was touched and He released on Jesus such an anointing that healing broke out everywhere. It was beautiful. It was the Kingdom of God coming on earth ‘as it is in heaven’. The street kids picked up this change as well and experienced a new freedom to praise, ‘even little children shouting Praise God’ (Matthew 21v15).
Imagine this happening today! Imagine a church that’s been visited by Jesus and is back in God’s hands !!!!
But sadly my experience is that few churches today are in God’s hands but in denominational hands and institutions hands, in the hands of bishops, in the hands of pastors, deacons, elders, boards, constitutions, majority votes. It is in the hands of almost anybody but God.
What would happen if on Palm Sunday every church leader ‘resigned’ and handed their church back to God, made gathering for prayer the number one activity and invited the Holy Spirit to take over the leadership?
Imagine a “Godward” church, a church with the Holy Spirit the leader, the administrator, and the architect. Imagine the place being thronged with the blind and lame, healings breaking out everywhere, and the worship being led by uninhibited kids? It would be church but not like church as we know it!
There it is – my . That painful cry coming from God’s heart, ‘I want my church back’, just won’t go away.