Emotions. We all have them. Sadness, happiness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust. That’s just the short list.
We can tend to think of Jesus as one-dimensional, flat, expressing no emotion at all. Well beloved, here in John's Gospel we see Jesus exhibiting some fairly strong emotions. Emotions that are also accompanied by behavior - making a whip of cords, overturning tables, and using direct language. Why? What’s underneath this display of feelings? What’s this emotional Jesus all about?
A side note!! Some have used this encounter in the temple as an indication of the primacy of Christian worship over any other kinds of worship, especially over Judaism –that’s not it at all, no way!
If I understand the text I believe Jesus is about access. Free, unfettered, access to worship, to visit the seat of faith, to practice rituals that connect people to God. No middle ‘men’ required. That would be consistent with the Jesus we have seen traveling about healing and talking and visiting folks who are not on the A list. Jesus is more than willing to take a stand for what he believes.
Lent is our time for looking again at what obstacles we put in front of others, or even ourselves. What keeps us away from being with Jesus, from acting like Jesus? What makes it harder for others to see Jesus?
Church has a lot of rules. But our rules should never, ever, make it harder to worship, make it harder to fall in love with God. We should all be about unfettered, unhindered access to the holy. That is extravagant hospitality.
So how are you feeling? What is it that incites you to act? What cause moves you to express your anger, your sadness, your disgust? Our emotional life is intertwined in our spiritual life, it cannot be separated. Can we, this week, pay some attention to how we feel, because recognizing what makes us feel is also holy work, these are also holy moments.
And here is my favorite emotion song, in no way related to the Gospel except it makes me happy! We can still be happy even in Lent, I promise.
Rev. Alison +