Devotion: Growing in Faith
April 7, 2020
Devotion written by Rev. Susan Roddey, Director of Spiritual Life at Abernethy Laurels
“Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.” (Matthew 21:12)
The first thing Jesus did after he entered Jerusalem on a donkey to the cheers of the crowd was go to the temple and cause a shocking disruption to its normal routine. This is the part of Jesus that might frighten us in his intense anger of those whom he felt like were defiling God’s “house of prayer” by turning it into “a den of robbers.” Can you not hear the clatter and see the coins flying every which direction as Jesus grasped the tables and flipped them over. With the Pharisees breathing down his neck looking for a way to legitimately crucify him, Jesus spoke the truth to power with no restraint.
I wonder what kind of tables I might have that Jesus would overturn. I am not talking about my dining room table which currently is covered with our tax returns (although I would like to overturn it), nor the table where my Christmas cactus riotously blooms for Easter. I am talking about my tables inside my mind, heart and soul, where I exchange courage for silence, giving for greed, and humility for status. Don’t we all have such tables inside on which we sell out some of our core values in exchange for what is easy and brings us the most benefit?
Think about when we are disrupted from something we are used to doing. It jolts us, frightens us sometimes, and may make us angry. But what if God wants to disrupt us like Jesus did the moneychangers? What in us needs to be disrupted? Each of us will answer that differently, but here are a few thoughts: negative thinking, lack of gratitude, bitterness, envy, pride, fear, worrying, and hopelessness. Yet, there is good news here! Just as the crucifixion turned on end Jesus’ followers’ hopes that he would be their hero-king, Jesus’ resurrection disrupted death, and broke through the darkness with the light of new life. We are each of us blessings from God. Each of us has so much good in us, but we always have the potential to grow even more into Christ’s likeness. To have unhealthy patterns and thoughts disrupted, gives room for new life and for greater joy. We may feel as we are stuck in our rooms or confined to our homes, that we are stuck inside ourselves. This is a time though in which we can intentionally pray for God to free us from those things inside that keep us from growing even more into whom God calls us to be.
Prayer: Life-giving God, we pray that you would disrupt those things in us which hurt us and others so that we may grow even more fully in our faith. Amen.