The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:

First Reading: Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19:1-4
Second Reading: I Corinthians 1:18-25
Gospel Reading: John 2:13-22

The liturgical color for the day is: Purple

Tables overturned.  Marketeering interrupted.  Radical change is promised.

It is the interesting contrast of John’s Gospel over Mark’s.  In John they do not try and stop Jesus from doing this.  In John they ask Jesus what authority he has for overturning tables and interrupting the marketeering that is taking place in the Temple. 

It is the radical change that Jesus promises them which they cannot then hear.  He tells them, “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.  And just so that we don’t miss it John tells us, the reader, plainly, “he was talking about the temple of his body.”  Those listening there that day could not hear this spiritual news that Jesus was promising them.

All they could see was the splendor of the Herodian Temple.  This temple was so vast and so impressive that it had been under construction for some forty-six years.  Jesus could not physically re-build it in only three days.  It did not leave them scratching their heads in wonderment at him; it left them laughing at the notion.  They just couldn’t hear the radical Jesus.

“Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.”  See, it is the promise of God.  It is the message of Jesus.  It is the power of the Spirit.  When we let go, and when we let some of the walls fall down, when we let go of this building of self-reliance and self-confidence…  When we let go of those accommodations and let the Lord build in us God-reliance and God-confidence our priorities shift.

God-reliance/God-confidence – that is getting us through this journey that is lent and this journey that is this wilderness world in which we live.

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk

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