The Nazareth Page
A gospel meditation for the home
March 4th, 2018 – Third Sunday of Lent - John 2:13-25
We are now in the month of March. You know what happens in March besides basketball madness? It’s the beginning of “Spring Sale Time!” Special deals are available in automobile dealerships, appliance stores and in your favorite box store. Hurry. These sales won’t last. (At least until the “Welcome Summer Sale” begins.) I love sales. Who doesn’t? You can save a lot! (Notice no mention of how much you spend.) Yes, this business of selling and buying is well known to everyone on the planet. It keeps the economy going.
You will not be surprised that the business of commercial transactions even finds its way into the life of religion. Jesus encountered this kind of business going on at the Temple in Jerusalem. He was angered. This should not be, he thought. His Father’s house does not engage in business practices. Why not? The answer is simple. In God’s world there’s nothing for sale.
That’s not to say that nothing is offered. In fact, something incredibly wonderful is available in God’s “store.” For starters, there is God’s deep love for all. Add to that is God’s mercy and God’s forgiveness. Also, God’s interest in us and friendship for all. It’s all there for the taking. Free! No charge. Compliments of the management. And what’s even better, there is no limit to any of it. Take all you need. Even all you want. This is a “store” like no other.
To insure our understanding of this wondrous “store” (someone will later write a commercial jingle for it entitled “Amazing Grace.”) Jesus must do some refurbishing of that old Temple store. He moves all the animals, who were being sold there, back out into nature where they belong. He scatters all the money that’s been collected by the old store into the streets – where anyone can pick up what they need. He takes down the tables (check-out counters?).
Then he places a large sign over the door that announces that the best of everything is now available. This “store” is open 24/7. Even on Christmas. No, especially on Christmas and Easter. Come in and collect all you want. And remember, it’s all free! No hidden charges. It’s also duty free and tax free. If you must give something in return, a word of thanks is always welcome. And be sure to tell your relatives and friends about this new “store.”
©David Thomas, PhD (firstname.lastname@example.org)