"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Holy Week - Day 2

“Draw near to God, and God will draw near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. “ (James 4:8)

After Jesus’ highly visible entrance into Jerusalem on Sunday, he eventually returned to Bethany where He spent the night again with His friends – Lazarus, Martha and Mary. On Monday, He returned to the City where He found people doing business in and around the Temple; not the normal type of business that was common for the times and area, but businesses of cheating people, unfair prices, enormous interest rates and all matter of unlawful and unethical activities. The anger that Jesus felt was immediate and was unleashed upon these people by turning over their tables, letting animals loose and driving them out of the Temple. This was the Temple of God. To the Jewish people, God actually inhabited the Temple. Their most Holy Place had been defiled. And it had been allowed to happen by the Pharisees. They gave their permission by turning their eyes in another direction and ‘ignoring’ what was happening. The Temple. God’s House.
We are told in Hebrews that our bodies (and minds) are the Temple of God. Have we allowed these Temples to become defiled and filled with wrong and inappropriate things? I struggle constantly with keeping my Temple a fit place for God to inhabit. Things I watch on television, people I have hung out with and the conversations we have had, jokes we have told. Letting my anger gain control at times….and not always the “scripturally approved” type of anger. My attitudes toward people that don’t reflect that they are also children of God. And…I’m not even going to start on the whole healthy lifestyle and exercise aspect of keeping this old, aching Temple more physically fit.
During these weeks, I have worked very hard on some of these problems….not all, not at this time….you know, little steps for little feet. I can only accomplish things if I take them step by step and rejoice in the smallest of victories. But, my Temple still has clutter and dirt in the courtyards.
Just as Jesus cleaned out the Temple on Monday of His last week, I will be making a conscious effort on this Monday…some 2,000 years later to clean out my Temple for God. Letting the Light shine into the dark corners and examining myself closely for continued ways to purify my life. I ask for your prayers in this. I get so discouraged at times because I see many Christians who seem to have such mighty clean Temples in their lives and I feel that I have so far to go. Maybe I tend to be too honest at times, but that is what God is calling me to during this Lenten season. Sometimes I think it would have been a heck of a lot easier just to give up chocolate.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable GIFT!


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