Second Sunday after the Epiphany — January 17, 2021

Great insight from youth can come…

My curriculum for the Seventh Grade Religion Class is planned during the summer of each year before St. John’s School begins. That’s important for you to know as I tell you that the lesson for this week’s class was the story of Jesus clearing the Temple at Passover. After describing the event and the behavior of Jesus (storming into the Temple, making a whip, upturning tables, undermining the rules of the Temple, and being a most unwelcome guest), I was prepared – and even hoped for – the inevitable question. It was one particularly insightful student (thank you, K.C.) who raised her hand, looked at me quizzically, and asked, “What’s the difference between what Jesus did and what happened in Washington D.C. last week?” It was the opening I had prayed for.

“Look to the motivation,” I said. “What is different in the motivation of those who planned an insurrection and Jesus disrupting the business of the Temple?” Early replies pointed to ‘Jesus being God’s son, so therefore he had a right to do that,’ or to ‘Jesus wanted the place to be quiet so he could pray.’ Then some children began suggesting that what was at stake was “TRUTH.” They challenged the accuracy of the claim, “stolen election,” versus Jesus’ claim that the Temple was meant for worship and not for economic gain. We spoke a bit about intended outcomes of both actions; the overthrow of a corrupt system and the overthrow of a system rightfully in place. The motivation of Jesus, they realized, was to dismantle a system that got in the way of the work of God (good for all), and the people at the Capitol were pursuing an overthrow for their own objectives (good for a few).

It was the same girl, (K.C.) who asked, “How could they (the money changers and sellers) be taking money from people in the Temple and use it just for themselves?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

She said, “Did they use the money to feed the hungry?”

“You get it!” I said to her, trying to hold back the tears of joy welling from my soul. “You get it.”

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Online Services for this week:
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday Morning Prayer, 9 a.m. The worship bulletin for January 17 is here.
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Evening Prayer, 8 p.m.
No Wednesday night Bible Fellowship this week as the Bishop’s Committee is meeting.

My Zoom office hours are Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Here’s my Zoom link.

Rev. Karen’s Zoom office hours are Thursdays at 10 a.m. Here’s Rev. Karen’s Zoom link.

In the name of Jesus,