Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 18-March 15

John 2:13-22
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Cleansing the temple
Is this the gentle Jesus
Whose healing touch is balm,
Consoler of the broken
And messenger of calm?
Is this the friend of children
At whom the tempests cease--
Are these his hands of blessing,
Is this his voice of peace?

His eye is bright with anger,
His workman's hand strikes clear--
The traders cringe and scatter,
Torn by unholy fear.
The mighty temple totters,
For all its golden wealth:
The Spirit blows a tempest
OF cleansing, of new health.

This is the day he promised
OF good news to the poor--
Cast out the old corruption,
That blocks the temple door!
Throw wide the gate of freedom,
Let all God's children come!--
Through Jesus' broken body
God's people shall come home.
(Mary Ann Ebert, in Human Rites: Worship Resources for an Age of Change, comp. Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild (London:Mowbray, 1995), pp.310-11.)

God of power and strength, you ask us in Jesus to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with you. Share your Son's courage with us as we speak up to right wrongs and to be faithful to you. Amen.

Art by Jared Barnes

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