Temple Topple

Peace Connections

money-changers-temple

“Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace.”

Jesus arrived at the temple to spend time in reflection and worship in preparation for the Passover.  After several weeks of intense ministry, he sought to quiet his spirit and refresh his soul.  His disciples and other of the faithful gathered around him.  Together they offered up praises to God.  But the harmonizing sound of their prayer was drowned out by the discordant din of a marketplace.  Jesus sighed deeply and tried to focus.  He lifted his spirit before the Father.  But again he was distracted by the complaining customers for sacrificial animals.  Shouting, they accused the sellers that the lambs and oxen they had purchased were sick and bruised, not without spot or blemish as the Law commanded.  Jesus groaned and shifted his weight restlessly from knee to knee.

Closing his eyes and pulling his shawl over his head in an…

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Religion from the Gut

Peace Connections

jesus-cures-leper“If you want to, you can heal me.”  “Of course I want to.  Be healed!”

Jesus is traveling down the dusty road with his band of disciples on their way to the next city on their preaching itinerary.  Far off, a voice can be heard crying, “Unclean! Unclean!”  The disciples and Jesus continue on their journey, a crowd of curious and faithful surrounding them – eager to hear what Jesus would say, see what he would do next.  Again, only closer and louder, the voice pierces through the almost chaotic gaggle encircling Jesus, “Unclean! Unclean!”  A man comes in view, his clothes disheveled, his right hand covering his mouth.  “Unclean! Unclean!”  The crowd parts as if the Red Sea before Moses, and the man walks up and kneels before Jesus, begging, “If you want to you can heal me.”  Without thinking, responding straight from his gut, Jesus grabs the man…

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