.....what it is that makes us most angry?

PERAMBULATING READER John 2 v 13-22

 

Exodus 20.1-17

Then God spoke all these words:

2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;3you shall have no other gods before me.

4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.9For six days you shall labour and do all your work. 10But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

12 Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

13 You shall not murder.

14 You shall not commit adultery.

15 You shall not steal.

16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

17 You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

 

 John 2.13-22

 

13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 

14In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. 

15Making 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. 

16He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ 

 

 

17His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ 

18The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’

19Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’

20The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’

 21But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22After 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.

 

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Lets ask ourselves about what it is that most makes us angry?

It may well be the moment somebody disrespects and makes a mockery of the things we hold close to our hearts and by which we define ourselves which makes our blood boil.

 

The recent attacks upon statues of notable Britons led to anger and schism in our land. To the protestors the statues symbolise the oppression of them and those they love endorsed by our nation.  To others these attacks were witnessed as a desecration of what is seen to be most sacred and precious

 

In truth the history of our land contains both much to take pride in and much that still needs to heal. Attacks on monuments to our mixed heritage are no substitute for attacking what needs to heal in our own hearts and in the heart of our nation.

 

God alone is the fount of all that is holy and good.

To us all this morning’s Gospel is something of a wake up call.

 

Jesus is truly enraged at the sight of the money lenders charging extortionate rates of exchange as people queue to change their money for the temple currency which they must use to purchase a creature at an equally extortionate rate in return for the forgiveness of their sins.

 

In modern parlance this was a real rip-off of the poor endorsed by the powers that be to keep them in their place and to enrich those in power.

No wonder Jesus was enraged.

And as Jesus was enraged so should we all be enraged.

There is such a thing as righteous indignation which burns fiercely to refine out all that mars the divine image within people and in the world we live in.

Jesus’ outburst in the temple that morning was an affront to the powerful in fulfilment of Malachi Ch3. v1 ‘Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple’, Ch3 v2 ‘for he will be like a refiners fire’, Ch 3

v3The the Lord will have people (men) who will bring offerings in righteousness’

Jesus anger may have burnt as brightly as a pulsar but it lasted just for a moment.

Anger can be Godly but being angry is not within God’s nature.

God’s remedy for human anger was poured out through the blood of Jesus on the Cross.

Let us pray this Lent that we may each learn to feel God’s anger at all within ourselves and within our world which grieves his Holy Spirit

Let us pray this Lent that by God’s grace His righteous anger will be refined away to reveal his divine love in ourselves and in our world


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Page last updated: 6th March 2021 10:36 AM