Losing Jesus in the Service of the Church.
According to Luke 2:43-46, Jesus was lost, and he was lost by those who loved him. The same continues to happen today; Christ is still lost by his friends. Last week, we shared that you could lose Jesus because of busyness. But another way that Christians lose Christ is when they take their eyes off Christ and rest them on church work.
That is what happened to the Jews. They boasted of their love of the Lord but let the Temple and Temple work come in between them and the Holy One. Devoted to the Temple, they killed the Lord of the Temple. They held their religious ceremonies, made their sacrificial offerings, burnt their incense, and the priests and Levites ensured they performed their duties while the Scribes and Pharisees were fasting twice a week and saying long prayers. Yet in the midst of it, all Jesus saw spiritual death and said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. (Matthew 23:27)
It is a frightening thought to think that Jesus can be lost in the service of God.
Being loaded down with church work, attending Board and committee meetings, keeping the church books, and passing around the collection basket, can cause some to become so absorbed in these things that they lose Christ. They took eyes off the Saviour and put them on their work and become spiritually petrified. While running around in the name of Jesus, they lost Him, and they lost Him in the Temple/church.
I believe if we knew how many prominent men and women in the church, how many ushers, Sunday school teachers and members of the choir and preachers in the pulpit have lost Christ out of their hearts, the world would be horrified. I do not suggest they live sinful lives, but they have been more loyal to church work than Jesus. It is easier to attend long Board meetings in the name of the Lord than to spend the same time alone on our knees with Christ.
The good news is that Christ is not far away. Christ is not far off from the saddest, hardest, and worst. He walked among publicans and sinners while on earth and is near them today in His great mercy. He is often much closer than we dream. Next week we will look at how we can reconnect with the Christ we lost.