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  • Writer's pictureMonica F

Weekly Liturgy : February 26 - March 3

Christ Overturns the Tables of the Moneylenders Peter Koenig ©2015
Christ Overturns the Tables of the Moneylenders Peter Koenig ©2015
John 2:13-22

New Living Translation


13-16 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem.  In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”


17-19 Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”


But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”


“All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”


20-22 “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.

 

REFLECTIONS:

Thoughts from Monica:


So much action in this passage! If you can picture the setting, tens of thousands of pilgrims came to Jerusalem from far and wide… there at the Temple entrance area, coins were being exchanged and creatures sold, all of this activity crammed into a place originally intended for access to worship with a origins in inclusivity (the Court of Gentiles)... and not for profit!


Jesus is pissed. 


It says that, in his zeal, Jesus drives out all. Some scholars point out the original language indicates he only uses the whip to chase out the cows and sheep (I picture a “Harrison Ford Jesus” here). Most likely their owners chase after their assets, leaving Jesus to rebuke one group of merchants in particular: the dove sellers. 


These lower-priced birds were sold to worshippers who couldn’t afford the costly larger animals. It's like he's emphasizing a point: "Enough with exploiting the poor!" Jesus’ anger is aimed at those who are taking advantage of the most marginalized in that society.


He then turns to respond to the aghast religious leaders’ question with an amazing and edgy prediction of the timing of his eventual death and resurrection. Jesus is once again misunderstood. But later on, his disciples connect the dots back to this wild moment. 


And we are invited to connect our own dots.


Jesus, the Lamb of God, seeks to remove the barriers to human flourishing, especially for those on the margins of society.


Jesus, The Good Shepherd, invites us to do the same.



 

PRACTICE:

Outward Mindset Application

Think about who is the primary recipient of your work efforts today. Then ask yourself: How well served does this person feel? Do something (simple) to improve that answer.


Pathways toward Centeredness

Traditionalism: (Loving God through Ritual and Symbol):

Pick a day this week where you might set a timer on your phone for once an hour as a way to practice the presence of the Divine throughout your day. Take that moment to say a simple prayer or scripture, express gratitude, or set an intention for the next 60 minutes.


Questions for Reflection

In what ways do you boost the flourishing of those around you? Are there any ways you might prevent others from this experience? Think of one or two simple changes you can make to widen the circle of belonging.

 

“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.


Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.


Copyright (C) 2023 Church at the Park. All rights reserved.



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