March 8: Selling in church
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During my elementary and middle school years it was not uncommon for my classmates and me to have to sell wrapping paper, cookies, books or other things to raise money for school. I would often bring the sign-up sheet to church and try to persuade people to buy or donate towards my school, which to me was a good cause.
But I never understood why my parents wouldn’t let me stand up during announcement time to share that I was selling something, or trying to raise money. No, I wasn’t allowed to do that. My parents would instead help me by taking me to our close family friends and sharing the sign-up sheets with them. Other kids would stand up and invite the whole congregation to support them, but I always wondered why I couldn’t do that as well.
One time I did think about this passage as I was thinking back on those days and was able to recognize the uncomfortable feeling it always gave me. I realized that my parents were also probably thinking about this passage and that’s why they did not want me going around selling in church. Instead, my parents wanted my actions in church to reflect a respect for it as a place of sacred worship, as God’s temple. They wanted me to realize that Jesus is our temple.
As we go to church each Sunday and think about what we are asking people to give to or to sign up for, let’s also think about what God is asking us to give to and sign up for. For every time we ask something of others, let us also give something to God who deserves all of our praise and love.