When I was a teenager in youth group back a century ago, our leaders did something that is only feasible in a smallish size town with one high school that your whole youth group attended.
We also didn’t have spring break around Easter, because every morning of Holy Week, we went to church early and had breakfast which was prepared by our parents, who took turns showing up even earlier so the could cook for us.
We ate and had a devotion before we piled way more kids than seat belts into whatever cars any of us had access to use and headed off to the high school.
At the time, the ride to school was probably the part that impacted me the most because… who doesn’t love the power of driving eight kids crammed into your mom’s Nova, laughing their heads off and radio blasting?
But it is the idea that we set the week apart as separate and holy from the rest of the year…this is what lingers sweet in my memory.
So I do love to recreate that memory with you each year and I never seem to have enough time to plan it well, but let’s venture into looking at the passages around Jesus’ last days on planet earth again in 2018….climb on in.
We will share a morsel of the Word and be warned.
There are not enough seatbelts in the back and you may have to cozy up to make room for everyone…but let’s do this thing…
The events of Monday of Holy Week are jam-packed into all four Gospels.
As I go through the Chronological version, it reads rapid fire as Jesus starts out cursing a fig tree for not having figs, with the interesting addition of this information…”because it was not the season for figs.”
From there He cleanses the Temple of money changers and those selling animals for the sacrifice.
There are all kinds of extras’ roles for the scenes that play out from there including people coming to Him for healings and children still hyped up from the Triumphal entry praising Him and then the furrowed brows of Pharisees plotting how to stop Him without losing popularity with the crowds.
Add to this a booming voice from Heaven, audible to the masses, declaring that God’s Name is glorified and would be glorified; and we have the makings for quite a Monday.
No wonder He and the disciples opted to escape to Bethany for a good night’s sleep.
So what jumps out at me this morning from all of these passages?
Definitely the cleansing of the Temple.
Part of it would be because of one of my most listened to teachings ever, “My House Shall be a House of Prayer” when Jim Cymbala spoke at a praise gathering. I have listened to this numerous times and it never fails to move me to my feet at the end. Including link…hope it works <3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40F5wMbjugE
The other reason this passage moves me is because I have to stop and wonder how Jesus would react this fine Monday morning if He walked through the lobbies of our modern churches…or better still…how is He finding the inside of the hearts in which we have invited Him to tabernacle…to dwell.
Our churches, our homes, our lives…is He pleased when He walks through?
Is it a place where His glory is dwelling?
But it is only for me I can answer.
And so I want to ponder what He finds as He enters the street on which I live, comes up on the porch and enters the front door….what does He see and notice in my heart and in my mind…my activities and my choices today?
Because surely He is present.
I invited Him in when I traded my sin for His sanctification.
I gave Him full access to all of me, when I receive all of Him.
So I welcome the cleansing.
I invite the scourging of that which has taken up a booth space and needs to be evicted.
Lord Jesus, would you walk through the places in our hearts where we have allowed clutter and profit to push out prayer and worship? As we enter into this Holy Monday, would you visit us and cleanse away our unholiness…that we might be made whole again … whole and holy…for Your Glory <3