Day 21 - Challenge

An image of environmental destruction: a beach covered in trash washed up from the ocean

Day 21 - listen here

 

Mark 11:15–19

And they came to Jerusalem. And going into the Temple he began to throw out those who sold and bought in the Temple. And the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves, he simply overturned. And he did not allow anyone to carry a vessel through the Temple. And he was teaching and telling them, ‘Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the Gentiles”? And you have made it a cave of brigands. And the chief priests and the scribes heard. And they sought how they might destroy him. For they were afraid of him; for the whole crowd was overwhelmed at his teaching.

Reflection

What Would Jesus Trash? I like to think about how Jesus would move through an arms fair, among the company reps competing to sell weapons that are ‘smart’, promising ‘increased lethality’. What would he yell at them as he pushed over the displays? What would he say about his house, and the theatre of carnage that we have made of it? Or how would Jesus blast into the boardroom of mining companies that knowingly bank on environmental destruction, turning a blind eye to the fate of indigenous peoples whose lands they poison and destroy? What would he yell at them about the Temple of creation itself, and what they have made of the beauty of his Father’s house?

And what about you? What stalls have been set up in you, selling you competing versions of your self? Who is trying to hawk you tawdry versions of happiness? Where has the architecture of your calling been obscured by consumerist trinket-trading? In your mind’s eye, wander through that bazaar. Listen to what Jesus says to the traders about you, the Temple he has created, and what you are for. And – if you dare – let him turn over the tables.

17th century painting of Christ driving the money changers from the Temple

Prayer

Lord,

the world is so full of noise and trade.

I can easily lose sight of you,

and lose sight of myself

as you call me to be.

Share with me the freedom and strength that you have

to overturn whatever crowds and cheapens.

Create and keep in me an open space

where we can find one another

and talk face to face.

 

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