12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.”
Jesus showed a side of Himself not often portrayed in the bible accounts of His life, a justified anger. Yes, there is such a thing, and yes even Jesus got angry, as we just read. Jesus cleansed the Temple, overturned the tables and set the birds free. Does not sound like a “Jesus loves you just as you are” sort of guy. YES, I know Jesus LOVES YOU! That is not in question, but the idea or theology that goes something like this: Jesus Loves you just as you are, he asks nothing of you, you are fine just as you are… You know what I’m talking about. Well, that just wrong, and not biblical.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NIV)
We are the Temple of the Lord, the new Temple instituted at that Last Supper when our Lord instituted the Eucharist. We partake His Body into out Temples, the new dwelling place of the Lord. Does the Holy Spirit reside in a den of robbers, or is it fit for the Holy Spirit? Have you overturned your life? Emptied it of the money changes or are you still allowing space with in your temple for them?
This is a hard question, one that causes us to stop and look within, and most of us would rather not look within, we find it much easer to look out and see the other people’s den of robbers.
41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Luke 6:41-43 (NIV)
We are called to make our Temples fitting for the Lord, to provide a “New Wine Skin”
16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
Matthew 9:16-18 (NIV)
Our souls will rebel and pull away from the Lord, sin leads to tears and rips in the wine skin of our souls. The money changes of our life, anger, pride, envy and such, rob of us our ability to commune with the Lord. We need to enter into our temples and overturn the tables of anger, pride and envy, we need to set free the birds of sacrifice and offer up ourselves to the Lord. We need to allow the Lord to dwell within His temple, we need to make room in our souls/life for Him, we need to cleanse our Temples, and Lent offers us the opportunity to do this.
Lent is a time of fasting, of giving up the bad in exchange for the good and Holy.
The Catholic Church observes the discipline of fasting or abstinence at various times each year, especially during Lent. For Catholics, fasting is the reduction of one’s intake of food, which may or may not include abstinence from meat (or another type of food). The Catholic Church teaches that all people are obliged by God to perform some penance for their sins, and that these acts of penance are both personal and corporate. The purpose of fasting is spiritual focus, self discipline, imitation of Christ, and performing penance. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Fasting a way for us to overturn the tables within our Temples, it offers us the opportunity to purge our body/souls of unwanted toxins, sins. Fasting helps us remember what is truly important in our lives, what we can live without and more importantly, what we cannot live without, God. This Lent I offer up this idea, besides abstaining from meat on Fridays, offer up Wednesdays as a day of Fasting, eat only one small meal all day, no snacking, no grand 18 coarse meal at the end of the day to celebrate your fasting, just fast and tell no one, just offer it up.
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
Matthew 6:15-17 (NIV)
Cleans your temple this Lent, make room for the risen Lord within your soul and rejoice in knowing you His Temple.
God Bless & Happy Lent