Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Read Matthew 21:12-17 (following the Triumphal Entry)
12Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13“It is written,” he said to them, “ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’e but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’f ”
14The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
16“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.
“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’g ?”
17And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
SPACE FOR THE CROSS
Have you ever had a junk drawer or closet full of all the stuff you think you may need at some point, but don’t know what to do with it right now? It’s not important enough for its own assigned spot, so it takes up residence in the junk drawer. The really important things go in my top dresser drawer, that belonged to my father, in a special box that also belonged to my father. There are everyday things and there are things we hold sacred. I don’t go to the gym in my dress suit and I wouldn’t go to a wedding in workout cloths. It’s just wrong and out of place.
The wise elder men of Israel had allowed the sacred temple to become full of the ordinary. The Father’s house had become a junk drawer. Meanwhile, the blind and the lame and the children are coming to him, finding healing and hope, and praising Jesus.
It’s a strange situation – the Scribes and Pharisees are full, like junk drawers, and have no room for Jesus. On the other hand, the young, hurting and broken are hungry to have a sacred encounter with the Living God. Their brokenness, their emptiness, has created space in them longing for Jesus. They are the temple of God (1Cor6:19), welcoming His holy, healing presence.
Mercifully, Jesus does not discard the Scribes and Pharisees and the Temple; He brings a cleansing fury. He drives out the ordinary, the secular, the vulgar to make room. The point is that there is more to fill this space than junk. Kindly he presses them, and us, to see that he has more for us when we make space for Him. He has a sacred love, a deeper joy, a fuller glory with which to fill us. And like children and babies, safe in a mothers love and nurture, we will praise Him like satisfied children when we make space for Him.
Father, let me clean out my closet and empty it of my accomplishments and my sense of goodness, of my sins and failures in order to be open to your love, forgiveness and divine glory. Work in me, your temple, to bring satisfaction to my soul and praise and glory to You. Amen.