HOLY WEEK REFLECTIONS – ANGRY MONDAY
Monday is often a difficult day for many, as a new working week starts after a relaxing weekend. The common perception of Christians is that they don’t get angry or feel passionate about anything – meekness has often been mistranslated to mean weakness!
All four gospels record the story of Jesus clearing the temple on the day following his entry into Jerusalem. Temple worship involved giving sacrifices – sometimes of money in the right currency and sometimes of animals. As a result, stalls lined the entrance to the Temple, not merely as a service to the worshippers, but as a means of making a large profit for the traders! Although Jesus would have seen these stalls on previous visits to the temple, his action is one of outrage at the sight of injustice and commercialism in the name of religion. This time, Jesus decides to trash the stalls and scatter the merchandise all over the Temple precincts – a demonstration of his feelings rather than just some words of censure to make clear his view of the situation!
Jesus was angered that injustice was blatantly on show in the Temple – the place which for many symbolised the presence of God - but something more important was happening here than just respect for the religious institution. Many people see Jesus as kind and forgiving, liberating and easy going, but the full picture includes those characteristics balanced against his strong reaction to injustice and corruption; love was for Jesus a strong love.
This story draws together love and forgiveness with a determination to stand against unfairness and dishonesty in life. This is not a call to acts of violence in the name of Jesus but it is a reminder that we are called to act courageously at times when injustice is experienced and to express our anger when corruption or dishonesty is seen.
Jesus’ action is a warning that bold action can be costly, as he was soon to be arrested. We must stand up for those who have no voice and realise that obedience to God in our personal life, must not be separated from social reality of justice and equality. There is a cost in following Jesus.
***ANNOUNCEMENT! We are delighted to be able to reopen St Paul's church for in person services - in time for Easter! For details of our events and services during Holy Week, check out our Services at St Paul's and Church At Home Pages.****