Lent – Thursday, March 11

Digital Version of Devotional

Author Holly Reimer

John 2: 13-22

Reflection: v. 19, ‘Temple’

It’s not about the Temple. It’s about what is done there. I find myself surprised at the first part of this passage. Jesus is so demonstrative in his anger and in his frustration with the ways the Jewish leaders and authorities have chosen to be present at the Temple. I am surprised also by their shock and uncertainty and how little they comprehend. Even after all of this, they still are focused on the building and the Temple itself, rather than what the temple represents—what can be found in the temple. It is not about buildings. It is about what we use them for. Mercy has been finding space and shelter outside, on the lawn of another church.

It is here where we continue to be a community that worships, sings, and prays together. It is a space where we offer resources of food and clothing and finding ways to keep folks warm with hot coffee, gloves, sleeping bags, and space heaters. It is not about the building but how we are using the space to care for God’s beloved children. It is so easy for us to lose sight of God, because we get distracted by stuff. We get distracted by buildings and things that we accumulate.

I love that this is Jesus resetting us. Now is the time to change, there is no time to waste, there are no words for Jesus to try to change hearts and lives. Jesus acts. The Temple—the building—is about the God we come to worship. And the God we come to worship proclaims that we are to care for our beloved brothers and sisters. Folks, we have been doing a terrible job. So it is time to dismantle, to be incensed by the things that have consumed us for far too long, and to hit the reset button. Let us see Christ most fully in how he was present to people. It is time for us to be present to people, to care for one another, and to put an end to violence and discrimination, bigotry and hate. Let us not be okay with the things we continue to bear witness to in this world.

Prayer Lord, may we care more about people than we do about things. Amen.

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