Thursday, March 1, 2018

religious and spiritual

"Jesus’ cleansing of the temple – we might call it “occupying the temple” – is spiritual theatre.  In turning over the tables, Jesus is calling his religious tradition to be both “religious and spiritual,” that is, to become liberated from consumerism, power, polarization, and class to embrace the spiritual needs of an oppressed and hopeless people.  While God loves humus, the floors of the temple are not intended to be dung-covered.  Sheep and goats are part of God’s glorious handiwork, but their place is in verdant pastures, not temple floors.  We need to look at our faith and practice and discern those places where we have co-opted by consumerism, self-indulgence, materialism, and power plays.  The beauty of the universe and the wonder of our bodies call us to amazement and gratitude, but also to confession and repentance.
Today’s scriptures invite us to integrate a sense of beauty and emotions of gratitude with personal, congregational, and social self examination.  Do our practices reflect and contribute positively to the beauty of the universe and the ability of small children to join innocence with maturity in growing to be persons of appreciation,faithfulness, integrity, and beauty?  Ifnot, we need to embrace the wonder of Psalm 19 and soak our hearts and minds in the presence of a beautiful God."
Bruce Epperly


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