The Lectionary readings for Sunday include Exodus 20:1-17 and John 2:13-22.
As we journey toward Easter, our gospel reading from John provides a unique perspective of Jesus. This is not Jesus, meek and mild. No this is Jesus, furious, outraged, overcome by emotion. The story of Jesus cleansing the Temple provides a perfect text to meditate upon using the practice of lectio divina.
Pull up a comfy chair, open your Bible, and have a pen and notebook handy so you can write down your thoughts. Now, read through the passage. Imagine the scene being played out in the Temple at the time of the Jewish Passover. Sit silently for a couple of minutes. What do you notice on this first reading. Write down your thoughts.
Now I invite you to read the passage a second time, but this time try to focus on your senses. As you put yourself in the story, what do you see, smell, hear... Sit quietly for a few moments, and then record your experience.
Once more, read the passage, but this time you get to play the part of the money changer. You are sitting at your table, counting coins, stacking up coins, exchanging coins. Now read the passage. What thoughts come to mind? What do you think of Jesus, coming into your place of "business" and turning things upside down?
Near the end of this chapter of John, Jesus tells the Jewish leaders, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Here Jesus is speaking of the temple of his body. Because of the sacrifice Jesus makes, no longer will God be "housed" in a man-made structure, as if God ever was! No, now, because of the work of God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, God is with each baptized believer, forever and always.
Last year my spiritual director gave me a lovely book by John Moses, The Desert: An Anthology for Lent. An entry written by Theophan the Recluse speaks of God's home in each of our hearts:
You seek the Lord? Seek, but only within yourself. He is not far from anyone.
The Lord is near all those who truly call on Him.
Find a place in your heart, and speak there with the Lord.
It is the Lord's reception room.
Everyone who meets the Lord meets Him there;
He has fixed no other place for meeting souls.
May God bless you in your comings and goings this week. I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday.