Monday, August 15, 2011
No Pay, No Pray!
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.
It's Sunday morning. Your family and you, freshly scrubbed and decked out in your finest, climb into your car and head for church. You are happily anticipating the service where you can praise and worship God together. As you turn onto the church's driveway, instead of be greeted by the familiar building with its soaring steeple, you are aghast and appalled by the scene unfolding before you. There, on the spacious church lawn, a raucous and tawdry traveling carnival has pitched its tents and rides. Discordant calliope music blares from gigantic speakers. The air is permeated by the odors of rancid cotton candy and stale popcorn. A garish clown with a leering grin holds balloons and waves frantically at you as he dances next to a sign which reads: Want church? Play three games, get three passes to enter. No pay, no pray!
What??? Your jaw drops to your chest, your eyes flash, your face turns beet-red with indignation and, yes, you are seething with rage! Is it difficult now to identify with the ire and outrage Jesus felt upon seeing the desecration in the courts of His Father's house? Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, rich and poor, flocking to the temple to worship at the Passover with repentant hearts and steadfast faith, are hampered, harassed, and cheated by the money changers and those selling animals for sacrifice. Jesus has had enough of this blasphemous circus and, with a physical anger not witnessed in Him anywhere else in the gospels, He banishes them with dramatic force, with actions they will not soon forget.
Jesus demonstrates for us here the concept of righteous anger, genuine distress in reaction to an injustice done or an innocent violated. Instead of sharing with you right now the things that stir up a righteous anger in me, I would like to hear from you first. Please share what rouses a righteous anger in you in the comment section below or on the Facebook feed. I'm looking forward to the dialogue!
Psalms 106:1-18 or 106:19-48
2 Samuel 17:24-18:8