3rd Sun Lent
Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.
This Sunday's Exposition
One prominent politician often used to refer to the people of Australia as ‘consumers’. Notice how often this happens. Are you a consumer? I’m not. Yes, I do consume but that is only one of a myriad of things I do. In fact, I consume to ‘be’ other things of my life: a ‘pray’er, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a gardener, even a citizen of Australia. The tendency to define us as ‘consumers’ demeans us and confines the role we are to play in society.
Jesus’ anger in the temple was directed towards the religious authorities and merchants who had debased temple worship by monetary transactions. What should have opened people to the love of their God was reduced to outward observance according to their rules. No longer could a farmer bring his sheep for sacrifice – a blemish was sure to be found so he would be forced to buy a sheep from the Temple merchants. This is just one of the ways that the worship of God was being used and debased for personal gain.
‘Worship of God’, ‘being a citizen’ are extraordinary callings for each of us. They challenge us to be greater and better people. This is not easy. It is so much easier to follow rules than to grow as persons. The problem is that in such cases the rules will always multiply and ultimately serve the selfish needs of the few. We all need to be like Jesus, who entering the Temple, knew what the place was for: worship of God. He would not accept anything less.