Hymn 156: “Morning has broken”
Hymn 546: “Lord Jesus, think on me”
Hymn 522: “Christ is the heavenly food” (Soll’s Sein)
Hymn 531: “Sent forth by God’s blessing” (Ash Grove)
Hymn 778: “Shalom to you”
The First Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
The Gospel Reading: John 2.13-22
Call to Worship
Passion consumed Jesus as he overturned the tables of the merchants and moneychangers in the Temple grounds. As we follow Jesus toward the cross, may we too be consumed by a righteous passion to do what is right and honourable.
The heavens declare the glory of God.
The earth proclaims God’s handiwork.
In speech without words, their voices are heard.
In praise without language, their sounds extend
The law of God is perfect, reviving the soul.
The teachings of God are sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of God are right, rejoicing the heart.
The ordinances of God are true and are righteous altogether.
Come and proclaim with the heavens the glory and majesty of our God.
God of righteous fire, just as Jesus was consumed with passion as he cleared the Temple, may we be consumed with passion as we seek justice and righteousness in our world; just as Christ never flinched on his journey to the cross, may we never waver in our devotion to you and our defence of the poor. On this great journey of Lent, teach us the perfection of your ways, as we keep our eyes fixed upon your Son. Amen.
It was because they were dealing dishonestly with the people who went to the Temple to give offerings in an effort to have their sin forgiven. The people could hardly be poorer and were being forced to use what little funds they had to purchase acceptable offerings….at inflated prices.
The traders in the offerings were betraying not only these poor people who were bound by the law to seek reconciliation with God for assumed sins, but they were also betraying God by polluting the way of relieving people of their burden of guilt.
No wonder Jesus was furious.
Of course we would never act in any way that was similar to these traders…..would we?
Rev. John spoke to us about “Holy Habits.” Do we always behave in Holy ways or are there times when we are as guilty as the people in the Temple who took advantage of the ordinary people and acted in a way which was not as God wants? Are we ever guilty of making anyone feel uncomfortable at church? Do we ever use the church or any position we have in the church community for our own ends rather than the building of God’s kingdom?
Rev. John pointed out that we are different from God, we are not pure light and love but can we show that light and love to others?
Some of us do for much of the time and some of us do for some of the time but if we are ever using our life in the church for our own ends it will show, and God’s light and love will not show.
Rev. John sent us out with these words:
Walk in the ways of God. Go forth with the song of the heavens in your ears. Listen to the words of life. Go forth to live fully and completely: with the teachings of God’s law to lead you, with the grace of Christ Jesus to guide you, and with the peace of the Holy Spirit to sustain you. Go with God.
And the blessing of God almighty, Creator, Redeemer and Giver of life be with you always.