RCL: Third Sunday Lent

Exodus 20:1-7; Psalm 19; 1 Cor 1:18-25; John 2:13-22

It’s much easier to capitalize on division, to stoke grievance, to solidify factions. It’s much easier, and there’s a great deal of power and prestige that can come from such. But don’t take that path. Seek unity. Seek understanding and forgiveness. Grace.

Don’t store up your treasures. Give to those who have need. Sell all your possessions and give to the poor. Consider that you have everything in common with the believers with whom you have gathered.

Violence feels good. Right. Cathartic. If someone punches you, metaphorically or otherwise, punch back twice as hard. Don’t back down. Stand your ground. Those things provide power and pride. But don’t take that path. Turn the other cheek. Go the extra mile. Be meek and gentle. Humble and kind. You don’t have to respond to that tweet or post. You don’t have to respond in kind. Not to be as a doormat or to suffer abuse, of course. There is a sense in which you must protect yourself. But as much as it depends on me, I aim to seek peace. Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you.

Open up your doors. Build bridges. Not walls. It’s safe inside the walls, though. It feels better, perhaps. But open up your doors and arms and embrace the outsider. Welcome the stranger. Dine with the sinner. The untouchable.

Lose your life to gain it. Consider others better than yourself. Lay down your life. Let go of control. Surrender.

Foolishness. That’s how Paul describes how the life of Christ seems to the powers of the world. Jesus who was a part of a despised race, on the wrong side of the empire, and was tortured and executed as a criminal. He’s the King? This is your God? This is Power?

Yes indeed! The world turned upside down. The temple torn down and rebuilt in 3 days in His resurrection Glory.

Yes indeed!

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