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Anything that hinders the worship of God incites the anger of God, and should be abandoned immediately.

"It was a majestic evening. On Friday, October 18th, 1991, the world-class Chicago Symphony presented the final concert in its year-long celebration of the symphony's one hundredth year. For the first time in United States symphony history, the present conductor and two former conductors of an orchestra stood on the same stage...At a centenary celebration dinner before the concert, patrons had received souvenir clocks as gifts. As Daniel Barenboim sat down at the piano and Georg Solti lifted his baton to begin Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto, a great sense of drama filled Chicago's historic Orchestra Hall. And the beauty of the music took over.

"A few minutes later, however, at 9:15 PM, the music began to unravel. Out in the auditorium a little beep sounded. Then another, and another. Little beeps were sounding everywhere. Barenboim and the symphony plowed ahead, but everyone was distracted and the music suffered.

"Finally, after the first movement ended, Henry Fogel, the executive director of the symphony, walked on stage to explain what happened. The manufacturer of the souvenir clocks presented at the pre-concert dinner had set the alarms to go off at 9:15.

"Now there was only one way to get on with the concert. Fogel asked everyone who had one of the clocks to check them in with an usher."

Trivial things have terrible power to disrupt what is important. And this is what was happening there in the Temple. Something that was seemingly a common-day occurrence had become a major distraction to worship for those in the court of the Gentiles.

(From a sermon by Eric Lenhart, Monday -- "Jesus Clears the Temple" 8/13/2010)

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