07 March 2015

GOD’S PEOPLE… A LITTLE SLICE OF HEAVEN ON EARTH

III SUNDAY OF LENT SUNDAY III
exodus 20:1-17; 1 corinthians 1:22-25; john 2:13-25

in «culture shift», wayne cordeiro tells of a parishioner who found a «little slice of heaven on earth» around GOD’s people. he discovered that she worked six days a week, and volunteered to be a receptionist at the church her one day off. 
he asked her: «why do you come here and do this?» she replied: «being here is like a breath of fresh air.»
he asked: «don’t you want to take a day off?» she said: «this IS a day off. it fills my soul.»
cordeiro reflects: «she feels valued. that is the kind of love we want to show. this love… comes from learning to recognize evidence of GOD’s presence.»

the ten commandments were meant to put GOD’s people into a covenantal relationship with him and into a right relationship with one another… so that they became a sign of GOD’s presence, and all experienced a «little slice of heaven». 
gradually, these became 613 dos and don’ts which focused on externals.

the jerusalem temple was meant to be a sign of GOD’s presence… another «little slice of heaven». 
at JESUS’ time, it had become «a marketplace», where the money-changers and animal sellers extorted the poor pilgrims… in the name of religion. further, the «marketplace» was in the court of the gentiles… the only place where a gentile could pray. but the noise from the animals and people precluded any prayer.
in cleansing the temple, JESUS wished to restore it as a sign of GOD’s presence. in his confrontation with the jews, he indicated another sign (and reality) of GOD’s presence: his body!

we are GOD’s people and the body of CHRIST.
am i truly a sign of GOD’s presence? do people experience a «little slice of heaven on earth» and «a breath of fresh air» around me?
today, what do i need to cleanse in myself to become a true «temple»?