“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
This third Sunday in Lent, upon seeing the temple overrun by money changers and by those who would turn it into a marketplace where things are bought and sold, we see Jesus call out the church on their sins by overturning tables and driving people out with a whip. I imagine that some of Jesus’s anger stems from disappointment at the lack of adherence to the commandments God gave the people (we read about it in this week’s Exodus reading). The Ten Commandments were supposed to guide the people toward right relationships with God; we even make our response to the Ten Commandments to be Psalm 19 where we say “The commandment of the Lord is clear and gives light to the eyes.” In worship this week, we explore themes of holy anger and the power of the commandments to teach and convict. Above all, we remember Jesus’s words that the temple of his body, despite being destroyed, was rebuilt in 3 days. We know that in our baptisms, we receive the teaching of the Ten Commandments and that we too will be raised with Jesus.
The commandments are given at Sinai
The commandment of the Lord gives light to the eyes
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
Christ crucified, the wisdom of God
The cleansing of the temple
Music this week includes God of Grace and God of Glory which has us pray that God would cure our warring madness, bend our pride to his control, and shame our wanton, selfish gladness, which is rich in things and poor in soul. We sing this to remind ourselves of the ways God’s law teaches us and corrects our behavior, bringing us into good relationships with God and with one another. In a nod to the message of Jesus in the temple, we also sing Built on a Rock this week where we remind each other that Jesus is the true foundation of the church and his teachings the continuation of the law given to the people.
Jesus shows some holy anger in the temple in the gospel reading this week. When is it right to show holy, righteous anger?
Which of the Ten Commandments is the most important? Why?