You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? (Matt. 23:17)

Around the time I started seriously attending church, we went to visit with my grandma. On this particular visit she wanted to attend her liturgical church. She thought because of my own personal journey with God, I would appreciate it more than when I was a little kid. I remember going with her, singing all the songs, standing for all the prayers, and leaving feeling like I had followed rituals for hours. I felt like there was no meaning there. I still can’t forget the look on her face when I said to her later, “I’m so happy I wasn’t raised in that faith.”

Jesus shared with the Pharisees and religious teachers here that their focus had shifted to the wrong thing. They began to place value in the “stuff” instead of the place. Gold became more valuable than the temple. When in reality, the temple is what gave everything in it its value. The temple gave value simply because of who dwelled there and nothing else.

Knowing that, I wish I could go back to that day with my grandmother. I wish I could see what she saw—that God was there. The mistake I made is placing the value of that service into what they were doing instead of why. My grandma experienced God in those things that I deemed worthless. In the end, that’s what actually matters.

Set your priorities on who God is.

Callie Kemmerer is a wife, fur mama, alumni of Kingswood University, and lover of Jesus who is striving after God’s heart and will each day.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.