Holy Week 2015 | Monday: Cleaning House

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MON • MAR 30

Cleaning House

Read Matthew 21:12–14.

Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of he money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. (v. 12)

Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of he money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. (v. 12) On Monday Jesus clears out the temple. “You are making my father’s house into a den of robbers” he says. Jesus is angry in this passage, violent. There is no way to sugarcoat that reality. Jesus in the temple isn’t docile and gentle, patting the heads of children who sit lovingly on his knee. He’s mad. Furious, even.

As we start our journey of Holy Week, pastors and priests, contemplatives, and devotionals often call us to be quiet and reflective, to go inside and undercover. What if, instead, we got mad? What if we got angry this Holy Week about all that is wrong with the world? Jesus shows us what it means to have a holy fury (often softened into “a righteous indignation.”) When we hear about mass hunger and war and human rights violations in our world, a right response might be a holy fury. We have the right (and perhaps even the obligation) to turn over the tables when we read of the sale of children into sexual slavery, robbing them of any opportunity for a normal and happy childhood. We have the right (and perhaps even the obligation) to turn over the tables when our rivers and streams are full of trash or when hatred and oppression snuff out the voices of love and freedom.

Think differently about what it means to observe this Holy Week faithfully.Take some time to think about what makes you angry. Where is your holy fury? What tables need to be turned over?

God of joy and anger, thank you for reminding us that there is a time and a place for a holy fury in our lives. Help me to be angered by the things that anger you. Amen.

These Holy Week Posts were published in the Fellowship of Prayer 2015 published annually by Chalice Press. Check out some of Chalice’s recent (and amazing) offerings such as: Sandya Rani Jha’s Pre-Post Racial America,Brian Christopher Coulter’s Be Holy,  and Stephen Ingram’s Organic Student Ministry. Of course, my book Seamless Faith: Simple Practices for Daily Family Life is also published by Chalice Press in 2014.