One of my favorite Internet memes is this one:
Our Lord pulls no punches when it comes to people polluting the Temple, a place that should be dedicated to the worship of the God of Israel, with commerce. In fact, I wonder what Jesus would think of the Christian marketing movement and the amount of schlock that gets bandied about with Bible verses on it. I remember the “Prayer of Jabez” craze that took place in college, based off an obscure verse reference that author Bruce Wilkinson turned into a book. It seemed like plastering “Prayer of Jabez” on something would cause it to sell, especially something as mundane as a mousepad or a scented candle.
Do I think that everything branded as “Christian” is a marketing ploy and should not be sold? Not necessarily, but I do think that we should be mindful of the medium we are using for our message. Psalm 19:14 is a prime example. In it, the psalmist prays simply, “let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” I have heard various priests pray it before they preach, and it seems like a wise prayer. Our words and what we show of our hearts speak more of who our God is than any notepad or tote bag will do.
Help us, Lord, not to let our love of commerce pollute the message you want us to share with the world. Amen.