By Kercida McClain
Project Transformation Rio Texas
San Antonio, T
It is hard to be in the world and not of the world. As we sat at the base of the Arch of Constantine, in the shadow of the coliseum in Rome, a discussion began about what would have happened if Christianity hadn’t become the legal religion. Would it have survived? How would it have been different?
When I hear the phrase “Christian nation” I wonder if that might be exactly about what Jesus was turning the temple tables over: When the world invades the church and it becomes normal.
Practicing how Jesus wants us to live is almost always going to be counter-cultural. It is hard to live in the ways of Jesus. We talk about loving our neighbors, but how are we truly putting neighbor before self? How are feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, seeking out relationships with those in need, shaping who we are and our priorities?
Those are all the hot button, political, government subjects. When Jesus enters the temple he is angry that the place that should remind us of God’s priorities has assumed the world’s priorities. We have to live counter-culturally to live like Jesus.
Lent is a time to reflect on what part of our lives have been co-opted by the world? What portions of our lives need to be turned upside down?
Prayer: Hear us God as we ask for help in actually looking out for others first. Hear us confess that we think we have earned what we have and we deserve it. Help us use the time of Lent to turn the tables of greed, self, and world upside down. Thank you for loving us as we are and not leaving us like that. Amen
1. What is an issue that the world/government is treating counter to the way Jesus taught?
2. What can you do to respond locally to that issue the way Jesus would?
3. Think of one way the world has shaped a practice you have and practice turning that practice upside down to match Jesus’ way.