The Gospel of John 2:13-22
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Let us Pray: Everlasting God, be with us in this time of prayer, and help us to feel your presence. Mindful of the Commandments that you gave to Moses we pray that you would be worshiped above all else in our land and that we can at all times be given the strength to reject the idolatry of our secular world. Amen
Lent is the great spring-cleaning of the Christian life. It is the traditional season of prayer and fasting in preparation for the great feast of Easter. The word Lent is derived from a Saxon word meaning “spring.” In the early church, Lent was viewed as a spiritual spring, a time of light and joy in the renewal of the soul’s life. I think we have the notion of fasting and giving up wrong during Lent. I think it should be a time of giving, sharing, and helping. What if the focus shifted to what shall we do? What if instead of a list of things to give up, we centered on a list of positive things to accomplish? What if our notion of a faithful life isn’t built on restrictions, but on a divinely inspired freedom to live in right relationship with God, one another, and creation? What shall we do?
In the Gospel of John, Jesus effectively did spring cleaning of the temple. He did it because the temple was a holy and sacred place for worship and prayer. Today may we ask ourselves: do we honor the sacredness of the church where we worship? Do we sometimes take it for granted or just a building? I know when I go into our church, I can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. I can feel the presence of the founders of our church and the echoes of those many who have worshipped here. I enjoy the beauty and the presence of the Holy spirit when I sit quietly in the church alone and the beauty of the tribute to God is so prevalent. Hope Episcopal Church in Manheim, Pennsylvania is a beautiful church that glorifies the presence of God and His son Jesus. The next time you are in church, experience the sacredness of your holy place. May you carry this sacredness with you throughout your day and your week!
Let us pray: Lord, grant us simplicity of faith and a generosity of service that gives without counting cost. A life overflowing with Grace poured out from the One who gave everything, that we might show the power of love to a broken world, and share the truth from a living Word. Lord, grant us simplicity of faith, and a yearning to share it. This we pray in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.