Mark 11:15-18 NRSVue
15Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves, 16and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written,
‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”
18And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him, for they were afraid of him because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
There were times, Lord, when you made people nervous. When you overturned the tables of the moneychangers, and sent coins rolling all over the Temple floor, the chief priests and the scribes grew fearful and angry. You had hit on the destructive link between religion and money, and you targeted it with passion and power.
We still have to guard against it, Lord. Could we imagine Christenings without parties, First Communions without special clothes, Confirmations without 'Confirmation money', Weddings without banquets, Funerals without pubs? The hucksters move in wherever a crowd is gathered. This gospel hits where it hurts.
I consider the buildings that I visit, the spaces that I occupy, thinking of how each is used for its particular purpose. I think of how I arrange my time and imagine my prayer a temple in the heart of the city, a place of beauty in the midst of fine buildings, an encounter with God in the busyness of life.
Jesus resisted everything that came between God and people. I pray that I may really hear his message and be drawn into the very life of God, that I too may be spellbound by his teaching.
It is easy for my time of prayer to become a time of reflection, pondering, figuring things out. My prayer time can become like the Temple; seeming to be given to God but in fact committed to other activities, preoccupied with the affairs of the day. I ask God to help me to bring these concerns for blessing but not to seek to control them now.
The heart is the place for love and relationship. I ask God’s help not to allow it to become a den for the worry, doubt, distrust or other robbers of peace.