Monday, April 10, 2017
The day after the Triumphal Entry, Jesus went to the Temple. He went not to worship, or to participate in its rituals, or to meet with the entrenched power brokers. He went to turn everything upside down. Overturning tables filled with "on sale" items, He soon was hollering about the sins of money changers who only saw the holy place as a stall in a market. Dust and debris, pigeons and lambs, merchants and worshippers moved as if a tornado was blowing through the space. It was a moment which sealed the determination of the power brokers to do away with Him. The economic nerve He touched was too painful.
I have often feared Jesus would show up in the church of our day. Talk about holy mayhem taking place. If Jesus would turn things upside down in the Temple of first century Jerusalem, there is no way to envision what He might do in the church of this day. In some places the collection plates are more important than the cross which stands beside them. Churches are measured not by souls saved, but by dollars accumulated and spent. The things that matter have to do with size and numbers. Prayer rooms are about the size of closets if they even exist at all.
Could it be we have forgotten? Or, even worse, could it be that we know better and still make choices driven by economic expediency and self-promotion? Is there enough mercy to cover the sins we have committed by going after such gods? Is there hope for the consumer driven, financially pre-occupied church of this day? Is there grace enough for those who have silently stood as its leaders and worked as if nothing was wrong? Oh, God, have mercy. On me. On all of us.