House of prayer, not den of thieves

Jackson and Lauren put drops of food coloring (sin) into the jar as part of our sin science experiment to show how Jesus cleans our lives.

Jackson and Lauren put drops of food coloring (sin) into the jar as part of our science experiment to show how Jesus cleans our lives.

One of the first priorities Jesus accomplished during Passion Week was cleaning up the temple. He could not allow His house to be turned into a marketplace, where men cheated others and turned worship into cut-throat business. The temple was to be a house of prayer, not a den of thieves.

Each of us considered how we let sin creep into our hearts, which God calls the temple of the Holy Spirit. We need God’s forgiveness so we can be houses of prayer. Matt led the kids in a science experiment to show how Jesus cleans our hearts. Watch a video of the experiment from last year’s 2 Weeks 2 the Cross. This experiment is one of our family’s favorite Easter object lessons!

Read about Jesus clearing the temple in Mark 11:15-19.

Learn more about 2 Weeks 2 the Cross and explore ways to experience Easter in a meaningful way with your family.

Dodging the puddles

Navigating through the mud puddles isn't always an easy task.

Navigating through the mud puddles isn’t always an easy task.

God will make a way for us through the deep and threatening places of life.

His people never had to swim in dangerous waters as God led them out of Egypt to the Promised Land. God split the seas and the rivers. They walked across dry ground to redemption from their Egyptian oppressors. When the people finally were ready to trust and obey God and enter the land, the priests stepped into the water in faith, and God parted the Jordan River to usher His people to the home He had prepared for them.

So why do we, as believers in Christ, stop in our tracks at a few mud puddles between us and the life God has for us?

If the Holy Spirit is guiding, there is no reason to fear. God will make a way through the muddy passages and sweeping oceans between us and where He wants us to be.

Perhaps we are facing chasms of doubt, or shadows from mountains of pain and grief threaten to hide the path before us. Maybe we are afraid to get our feet wet, to step through the waters because we may be swallowed whole. Do we turn back? Do we ignore God’s call to the other side?

God is good. He is kind, and His patience is long. God’s grace reaches farther than our fear and our failure. There is no risk to follow Him. He is with us for every step, and every leap over and around the puddles that threaten us. The very spirit of our Resurrected Savior is alive in us! God has redeemed us, and He will triumph over every circumstance. Holding His nail-scarred hand, we can take each step with Jesus, confident and secure in His love.

Now this is what the Lord says—
the One who created you, Jacob,
and the One who formed you, Israel—
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you.”

This is what the Lord says—
who makes a way in the sea,
and a path through surging waters,
who brings out the chariot and horse,
the army and the mighty one together
(they lie down, they do not rise again;
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick)—
“Do not remember the past events,
pay no attention to things of old.
Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.

– Isaiah 43:1-2, 16-19