Tear Down This Temple

Prayer by André Sibomana

Dear Father God,

In the name of Jesus, our King and Saviour, I come before you today with a heart of gratitude for your unconditional love for all of us. Thank you for your sustenance during these uncertain times. We thank you for the greatest gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Thank you for calling each one of us to serve you alongside the local church partners as well as our Canadian Baptist friends who pray for us and support the ministries we are part of.

I pray for those whom you have sent us to serve alongside with – the Africa churches and their local communities. The Bible says that Jesus came so that God’s people may have life in abundance. However, there is still much social injustice. The orphans and vulnerable children in Rwanda are in need of access to education and psychosocial support. Lord, I ask that you would keep healing this country and its people.

Help women in the Democratic Republic of Congo who have suffered through sexual violence, as it has been used as weapons of war. Lord we pray for justice for our sisters, daughters and mothers.

South Sudan has seen too much death and violence because of ethnic conflict and political unrest. Lord, would you hear the cries of children, men and women in the church who plead day and night for healing in the land. We beg of you to bring stability to this beautiful country.

In Eastern Africa, the swarms of locusts have worsened the famine caused by severe droughts and climate change. Lord, you know exactly when and how much rain we would need to be able to sustain the lives of millions of people in the region. We trust that you will provide.

Globally, we are still combatting the COVID-19 pandemic that caused a global economic crisis. And yet the most affected are the ones who already live on the margins and below the poverty line. We not only lost material things, but also the most precious of your creation – human lives. Friends, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers. Lord would you comfort the families that lost their loved ones because of CODID-19 as well as other causes? We also pray for justice and equity in the accessibility of COVID-19 vaccines.

Lord, would you speak to our hearts this Lent. Our hearts are your true temple, and you want it to be a place of worship. Cleanse my heart and forgive me for the times that I have fallen short. As spring comes, would you take my soul from its dormant state and bring it back to life again?

We recognize Lord that we are a people needing your salvation. In this the third week of Lent, we pray for your forgiveness and acknowledge our continued need for your love. Please welcome us back like the father who runs out to meet his lost child. Only you can close that distance.

Lord, bless all of us – the partner churches in Africa, who are seeking to advance your Kingdom through word and deed. Bless CBM, individuals and churches who generously and sacrificially give to the work of changing lives even in the midst of challenges. Lord, bless the work of their hands and provide to their needs as well.

Hear our humble prayer, that we bring before you today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

André Sibomana

Ideas for engaging practices

John 2:12-22 shows how people’s love of worldly riches tainted a place meant for worshipping God.

Sometimes, we get caught up in the things of the world.  Worldly attitudes affect our relationships with God and others.  We can change this!

During this time of Lent, examine some of the earthly practices that you might be worshipping.  Perhaps it is an attitude of consumerism, or being critical or judgemental, or attachment to worldly practices such as binge-watching shows or exorbitant amounts of time on social media. In Ignatian spiritual traditions there is a practice called “agere contra”, which means to act against. Commit to deliberately acting against our tendencies for the whole period of Lent.

Find a way to make your worship about God and not about the world around you to help stretch you spiritually.

Worship resources

Worship on the road through Lent with Steve Bell’s “Mercy Now”. Steve is a friend of CBM who was previously in a concert and story series of events with former CBM Strategic Associate Cheryl Bear.

John 2:13-22

The Message

Tear Down This Temple

When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.

Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”

But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.”

They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.