The Temple

Bare feet on the cool damp grass. The early morning light diffuse. I bend down to pick up a plastic toy and hurl it at the tree. I know I'm going to miss but I want to get the squirrel out. This is the second morning I have sat and watched while he brazenly climbs up the trunk and starts eating the buds that are about to burst with life. He bites them all off. If he wasn't already so well fed I wouldn't mind but the squirrel has ample sources of food and I don't want him eating my buds. Honestly, it's not really the buds that bother me so much, it is speaking to something deeper in my heart, the longing for new life, fresh hope and a spring season, and to watch vermin come and devour what I'm longing for is too hard to watch. I would rather get cold feet, stand outside in my pyjamas and hurl objects across the yard.
I was just reading John 2, how Jesus clears the temple. He makes a whip out of cords and drives the vermin out of his yard too. He was jealous for life in His temple and the people were turning it into a place to take advantage of others, a place to make money. His fury rose up and He wanted them out. The temple was supposed to be a place where people could come and meet with God and receive His life and His love - a place where His presence dwelt. It had become something so very different. The interesting thing is that Jesus, in His holy violence, was cleansing the temple and giving them the opportunity for it to be a place to give life again.  If only they had been able to turn and repent they would have seen that the Glory had come back to the temple - God incarnate. That which they had been talking of was there, right in front of them and He was cleansing the temple and giving them the opportunity to receive His life again. But they refused. They didn't believe He was the One they had been waiting for. Then Jesus does something beautiful and rather unexpected. He redefines what a temple is. He calls His body the Temple. Jesus' frame was the dwelling place for God. What is even more amazing is that Paul later says, 'Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;' (1 Cor. 6:19) Jesus has the same jealousy over my body as He had over the temple in Jerusalem. That is a little unnerving and yet reassuring at the same time. I love that jealousy, that He would come and drive out the vermin that are destroying life. I desire that, but can I handle His intensity? Would I be like the money changers who didn't want their agenda disrupted? Would I selfishly hold on to what I can gain rather than allowing him to sweep my temple clean? You see, it can feel so much easier to hold onto what I am familiar with, even if it's hurting me, rather than trusting Him with everything, especially when He is doing something so much bigger than I understand. The question is, do I know that He is good? Then I remember the squirrel eating the buds, the emergent life, and I know I want him to have that fury and jealousy over me because I truly long for those streams of life, the Spirit, on the inside of me flowing freely through every part of my frame.

Comments

Rachael Barham said…
YES!!! I am SO with you! XR

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