Today I have been thinking about Jesus cleansing the Temple. In some ways this follows on from my comments last week about how Christ dwelling in us means that we, in a mysterious way, become the temple of the Holy Spirit, Christ in us opening up our whole lives to the presence of God as an ever present reality. This is a wonderful truth but also, as I look at this painting of Jesus cleansing the Temple, a very challenging one. What is there in the temple of my heart that needs cleansing? What have I in my life that needs to be swept clean so that Christ can more fully enter?
Hard questions to answer, challenging ones. As I look at this painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch, I am reminded that our God is a holy God who calls on his disciples to also be holy, to worship only him. How often do I worship at the altars of commerce, popularity, success, possessions? What would Christ overturn in my life if would let him in more fully?
It may be Holy Week, but it has been the lines of a Christmas carol that have been running through my head as I pondered this. Not, perhaps, a carol that you may know, but one that in my Methodist childhood I loved to sing. The carol is “Cradled in a Manger Meanly” by George Rowe and I leave you with these words to contemplate as you walk with Christ as He enters the Temple and sweeps clean God’s house, Gods house of prayer.
Evil things are there before Thee;
In the heart, where they have fed,
Wilt Thou pitifully enter,
Son of Man, and lay Thy head?