March 12, 2012 Leave a comment
It seems I always become acutely more religious during the time period following deaths, and this is not exception. It’s just one of those things that when it shows up in life that really pushes me to examine the purpose that God has given us in life, and in all honesty there’s some very hard questions that we are all forced to address during the course of our lives.
There’s a recurring theme of challenges that can only be overcome by faith, and a resolve to continue to become a better person, not only for ourselves but to be a witness through the actions in our own lives to that faith for other people.
I saw an interesting connection in the readings today at my particular church service today, one from the old testament on the issuance of the ten commandments to Moses and the second from the Gospel when Jesus cleared out the commercialism from the temple. It’s amazing how much it applies to our lives today. Here we live in this incredibly fast paced news cycle and how much room do we actually leave for God.
If you go through life with the realization that everything you have including your own life is a gift, then it becomes to pretty easy to see that the chaos in the temple went beyond the happenings in the building itself. We can get caught up with this kind of clutter in our own lives, that drowns God out, and leaves very little time or opportunity for his presence to be felt.
I almost want to draw back on a sermon I remember from a few months ago about how we’ve become so accustomed to constant noise all the time that it’s absence can actually be startling at times. The need to have music, the radio, tv or some sort of distraction is such a norm for us that silence actually becomes awkward. For people of faith this is actually counter-intuitive because there’s another story in the bible that describes something very important.
There was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before God, but God was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but God was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle breeze. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle..! -I Kings 19: 11-13
We need quiet in our lives. It’s the way God is able to talk to us. How much of the time we spend praying are we talking rather than listening?
So yes, the literal merchants in the temple really goes beyond the institution but rather is a message to our entire state of being. Our bodies are temples of the holy spirit, and if we are living in them in any way other than to be good, God-fearing people, then we too are in transgression. It’s time for us to start listening more, stand where God wants us to stand and do so confidently.