03 March 2018

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

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

in «culture shift», wayne cordeiro tells of a parishioner who worked six days a week, and volunteered to be a receptionist at 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. this is the kind of love we want to show… which comes from learning to recognize evidence of GOD’s presence.» she found a «little slice of heaven on earth» around GOD’s people.


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 and became a burden!

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 money-changers and animal sellers extorted 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 a sign of GOD’s presence? do people experience a «little slice of heaven on earth» and «a breath of fresh air» around me?
what do i need to cleanse in myself to become a true «temple»?