Monday, April 6, 2009

Holy Monday

That is correct friends, today is Holy Monday. It is Holy Week, yesterday was of course Palm Sunday, a time when we celebrate the triumphal entry that Jesus made into Jerusalem. Most United Methodist (unless you go to COR) do not know the significance of every day of Holy Week. So this week I will attempt to explain what it's all about every day.
Holy Monday-
For Catholics the Gospel Text is John 12:12-19 (Jesus is anointed at Bethany)
Eastern Christianity- the Gospel text is Matthew 12:18-22 (the withering of the fruitless fig tree).
Now Luke records what happens directly after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
Luke 19:45-49
Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. "It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it 'a den of robbers.'
Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.
So today we can choose which text to reflect, I choose the Luke account.
Palm Sunday people are excited. They shout with joy and praise God for this amazing prophet, preacher, healer and teacher from Nazareth. Right after he arrives, Jesus goes to the temple and drives out the people who were selling things and said, "My house will be a house of prayer". The temple had turned into a trade fair, a flea market, people were making money in the shadow of the holiness of God. Rather offensive to the son of God, so he drives them out. Then, he is challenged by the chief priests.
Let's break this down.
He shows up.
People praise.
He drives out those who were selling.
He is challenged by the chief priests and the teachers of the law.
From the very moment he stepped into Jerusalem on his last week he was challenged relentlessly by the religious leaders. He had been preaching and performing miracles for the past three years. Animosity had built up between him and the religious leaders because his message did not fit their understanding of the law. The message of Jesus Christ is one of faith, hope and love. For many of us, we continue to be challenged to grow in our faith. Today, I encourage you to rethink your feelings about someone that you have either written off, have something against or have declared an enemy. We are called to "love our enemy", and as we begin this Holy Week, let the worldliness in your life go and begin to let God get ahold of you again. Go in peace and go with God.

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