Friday, March 13, 2009

Who Made That Mess?

I'm sure that's the question all the Temple leaders asked when they came upon the chaos on the Temple mount after Jesus tore through the vendors and crowds like a tornado. Tables upended, feathers and coins scattered, doves escaping and sheep bleating. Vendors were scrambling among the jammed crowds of worshipers to put things back together and I'll bet tempers were pretty high and voices were raised beyond the polite. So, just who made this mess?
Clearly we know the story from John 2:13-25, where Jesus begins his ministry after the Cana miracle with the cleansing of the Temple. The answer is obvious: Jesus did it. Jesus made this mess. Why? For many years I preached about the economic injustice of the sacrificial system and how it preyed on poor foreigners who needed to exchange their local currency for official 1/2 shekels. There were the high priced official sacrificial animals that could be purchased for various sacrifices. It was worse than the price of airport food!
But then I wondered. If I am the living Temple of the Holy Spirit now. Does Jesus come into my precincts and turn over tables? Does he try to clean up my house of all the clutter that accumulates in the life of a middle-aged preacher? I have so many tables I have arranged just so: my books and journals, my routines and preferences, my customs and habits, my stuff and possessions.
How much of Lent needs to be letting Jesus turn over our tables and help us clean house of clutter, junk and distraction? Come Lord Jesus come!


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