CATTLE, SHEEP, AND PIGEONS, Part Two
Hello, everyone. I posted Part One of this yesterday, so if you haven’t read that yet, it should be the one before this one. Anyway, here’s the second part.
One can imagine how the Temple became so cluttered. Jews coming from afar had to have animals to sacrifice, so it just made sense to make those animals available right there in the Temple. But you know how it is with manmade ideas and programs: They GROW.
I can imagine how difficulties arose over where to locate the tables – “Hey! Why do YOU get to locate so close to the gate so everybody passes your table first?”
And where to get the animals: “Hey, not only will we lead them to the temple, we’ll throw in two free sheep plus a coupon good for two turtledoves!”
And if you’re selling you need customers which means you need hawkers and advertising. “Hey, you! Yeah, you! You want a sacrifice? Got the finest, right here, fresh from the ranch! Such a deal!”
And all of this essentially became a part of the worship process; it became a gauntlet the worshippers had to pass through before they could enter the temple and worship God.
I can see why Jesus was so upset. After all, He came to rend the veil that separated mankind from direct relationship with God, and as he told the Jews in John Chapter two, He, Jesus, was the temple (not to mention what Paul would say later in I Corinthians 3:17, “For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple,” and in Ephesians 2:20-22, “… Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
What Jesus saw on that day was all our man-made enterprises and ideas standing between Him and those who would seek and know Him. Relationship with the Father and with Jesus Christ is what Jesus was and is all about, not the stuff we make up, build, and adopt as tradition, our way of “doing Church.”
One could fill a volume with all the churchy things that actually clutter up our relationship with the Lord, that turn us into Marthas instead of Marys. I’ll focus on just three because these are now clear enough in my head and heart for me to share about them:
CUSTOM AND EXAMPLE
THE MEDIUM BECOMING THE MESSAGE
I’ll tackle TASK ORIENTATION first, in the next post. See you there.
Frank, on August17, 2012