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Reckless Love

A Lent Reflection for Wednesday, March 6 by Pastor Ieisha Hawley


Lectionary reading for 3/6/24: Psalm 84; Ezra 6:1-16; Mark 11:15-19

Selected passage for reflection: Mark 11:15-19


Read

Mark 11:15-19 NRSV

15 Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; 16 and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”


18 And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. 19 And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.


Reflect

Mark 11:15-19 recounts the incident where Jesus drove out the merchants and money changers from the temple in Jerusalem. This event is significant because it highlights Jesus' righteous anger and his desire for the temple to be a place of prayer and worship.


In this passage, Jesus entered the temple and found people buying and selling animals for sacrifice and exchanging money. He was deeply disturbed by the commercialization of the sacred space. Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves, declaring, "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'"


As we reflect on this passage during Lent, we can draw several lessons. Firstly, it reminds us to examine our own hearts and motivations in our worship and service to God. Are we approaching him with reverence and sincerity, or are we allowing worldly distractions and selfish desires to creep in?


Secondly, this passage challenges us to be vigilant against any form of exploitation or injustice within the Church. Just as Jesus confronted the corruption in the temple, we should also be willing to confront and address any practices or attitudes that hinder the true worship of God and the well-being of his people.


Respond

As we journey through Lent, may we be reminded of the importance of sincere worship, justice, and the sacrificial love of Jesus. May we allow his cleansing and transforming power to purify our hearts and guide our actions as we seek to honor God and serve others.


1. Reverence in Worship: This passage reminds us to approach God with reverence and sincerity in our worship. We should examine our hearts and motivations, ensuring that we are not allowing worldly distractions or selfish desires to overshadow our worship of God.


2. Addressing Injustice: Jesus' action of driving out the money changers and merchants challenges us to be vigilant against any form of exploitation or injustice within the Church. We should be willing to confront and address practices or attitudes that hinder true worship and the well-being of God's people.


3. Cleansing and Transformation: The overturning of the tables symbolizes Jesus' desire to cleanse and transform our hearts. Lent is a season of repentance and renewal, where we can invite Jesus to cleanse us from anything that hinders our relationship with Him.


4. Prioritizing Prayer: Jesus quotes the Old Testament, saying, "My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." This reminds us of the importance of prayer in our lives. Lent is an opportunity to deepen our prayer life and spend intentional time in communion with God.


Finally, this passage points us to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, His sacrificial Love. The temple was the place where sacrifices were made for the forgiveness of sins, but Jesus' sacrifice rendered those sacrifices obsolete. He became the ultimate sacrifice, offering himself as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.


Rest

As we journey through Lent, may we draw from these lessons in Mark 11:15-19 and allow them to shape our thoughts, actions, and relationship with God. Amen.


About the Author


Pastor Ieisha Hawley is the Lead Pastor at Arlington United Church Arlington, WA and an experienced Prison Chaplain. Pastor Hawley is a 2015 Masters of Divinity graduate of Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C.  Pastor Hawley is an anointed, vibrant and powerful woman of God, called to be a servant of the Lord. www.ieishahawley.com



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