November 10, 2014: House-Cleaning
‘Jesus made a whip out of cords and drove all from the temple area…”Get out of here! How dare you turn My Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for Your house has consumed Him.’ (Jn 2:15-17)
The Gospel reading today shows Jesus at His least politically correct. He does not dialogue with the temple robbers; He drives them out with holy zeal. We too need to catch the wind of God’s jealous Spirit when He prods us to cast out of our domain sinful distractions that hinder our worship of the One.
I find that God’s mercy is usually the primer for such machismo. The Old Testament reading (Ez 47) today is among my favorite in the whole of Scripture: ‘living water’ rising from the temple until we are immersed in it. Like the Samaritan ‘bride’, Jesus grants us this merciful flood then invites us to take our places alongside of Him as housecleaners. Mercy fills and fortifies us to fight for the integrity of the temple—no other gods before Him in His house.
We must start with the integrity of our own houses, our bodies. We looked a bit yesterday at the moral compromises that led to ‘gay marriage’, including contraception. We do well to examine any sexual compromise we are in. And for that matter, any habit or relationship that impedes our devotion to Him. As we grow in Christ, these sins evolve from mortal ones into decent suburban ones like too much TV and alcohol, or complacency in our ‘good-enough’ state evinced by our scorn of more obvious sinners. We confess loudly our soft sins and renounce them in order to know His mercy more. We do our part to ensure that one God is honored in these temples.
As we grow in purity and authentic passion for Jesus, He asks us to do our part for His house, the Church. We may be mindful of corporate compromises, like the soft approach the Church now tends to give the sexually broken. OK, OK, we are all sinners. But when was the last time your pastor acted like macho Jesus and zealously insisted that we turn away from all impurities of flesh and spirit that resist God’s holiness? The Church today is dreadfully sweet and dull toward sins that destroy lives. I invoke St. Paul: ‘Everyone looks out to his own interests, not the interests of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 2: 21)
In every church, we must pray for the Spirit and the pastoral call that urges us to turn from our compromises. I desire to witness dozens at the altar, weeping over their sexual sins, as we prepare to receive Him. In the spirit of Mary Magdalene, primed with mercy, might we cast out our own demons as we confess our sins? In so doing, we make room for the Spirit to rise within us like Ezekiel’s river of Life.
May zeal for His house consume us. Let us do our part to prepare a Bride fit for the Bridegroom.
Please join us as we pray for:
Texas, Dean Greer – Coordinator: For new regional leadership to be identified and raised-up, for existing groups and for new groups to be established.
Christian Concern (www.christianconcern.org) United Kingdom: For the Lord’s protection and provision for Christian Concern as they stand for religious freedom in a secular society.
Gianna Catholic Center for Women, Dr. Anne Mielnik Nolte- Director: Expansion of these vital Catholic centers for women’s health.
“Courage for Pastor Phil Strout (National Director Vineyard USA), that he would ensure that the Church becomes a clear fountain of transformation for persons with same-sex attraction!”