The Pandemic Lockdown has meant we've had time (if not "key-workers" or working from home) to catch-up with those jobs around the house we've meant to do but never quite got around to starting / completing. Now the recycling centre has re-opened, we must have a clear-out of all the stuff in our garage that we no longer need.
Jesus felt the time was right to get rid of the rubbish in the Temple that was stopping it from fulfilling its true purpose.
Perhaps the time is right to ask Him to help us get rid of the rubbish in our own lives which stops us from fulfilling our best.
Jesus travelled up to Jerusalem shortly before the Jewish religious festival known as Passover. He walked into the Temple, and found people selling the cattle, sheep and pigeons required for the religious sacrifices. He also saw the money changers seated at their tables supplying the required currency for the temple taxes. Jesus grabbed a length of rope and, wielding it like a stock-whip, drove them all out of the Temple and trashed their stalls. It was bedlam, with cattle and sheep going in all directions and coins spilling everywhere as he kicked over the money changers' tables and shouted at those selling the pigeons, saying, “Get those things out of here. Stop treating my Father’s house like a shopping mall!” John chapter 2 - "Laughingbird" Australian parahrase of The Bible.
“Truth be told, Jesus, there are lots of tables that need overturning in our lives; beneath the veneer of respectability, the tidy rows and neat regulations hide dark addictions and angry judgements, hungry greeds and heartless rejections
We know the pain—and so do those around us— of keeping up the facade;
What a relief it would be to have it all
upset, smashed, scattered, destroyed.
So, perhaps, Jesus, today you could pay us a visit and help us to radically rearrange the furniture of our lives?
Written by John van de Laar,
and posted on his Sacredise website.
Go off somewhere in quietness, sit down with this zealous table-turning Jesus,
who loves and deeply cares for you. With Him, look and see what tables have been set up in the temple of your soul.
Tables of greed or jealousy, love of things over people, productivity without rest.
Tables of indifference and apathy.
Be kind to yourself.
Remember those tables were set up subtly one by one with good intentions.
It was never supposed to get out of hand. And looking over those tables with Jesus,
take His hand, overturn those tables together,
take up that whip and reorder your temple.
When the dust settles and stillness sets in,
see the beautiful temple that has been patiently awaiting you.
A temple that was created with one main purpose,
to love and be loved by God.
Who is this who enters the doors of our temple,
who overturns the tables,
strews silver and gold on the floor,
frees the sacrificial doves from gilded cages?
It is Jesus of Galilee, the Son of God, who comes to cleanse
our temple, to restore its subverted chambers
to a house of hallowed prayer.
Let us open the doors of our hearts even wider,
so he can cast out the thieves who would take
what is sacred and tender.
May the temple within us be a refuge
where doves of peace roost in the rafters.
Lord, take what is useless, and let it blossom into beauty.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Shari Miller Wagner, Celebrating the Season.
O God of Justice, whose Son overturned the tables in the temple, and challenged the hypocritical; cause us to feel anger
at the ways our lifestyle reduces humanity, and to share your gifts for a fairer world
and for your kingdom on earth.