| ANNE WILLIAMSON |
There's this Jesus scene in the Bible that used to scare me and now I love. In it, Jesus enters the temple in Jerusalem during Passover and begins overturning tables, driving out the money-changers and sellers of doves. (Yep, that was a thing.) He's angry, proclaiming, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer'; but you are making it a den of robbers."
As a teenager, I didn't find Jesus' behavior very "Christ like." Ironic, I know. Where were the children on his lap, healings, and words of peace? Why was he so angry? LEARN, LISTEN, LOVE...
First century Jerusalem brimmed with social inequalities and oppression. The Roman occupation and religious hierarchy created an environment susceptible to greed and the abuse of power. (Needless to say, a dynamic not unique to this time and place.) Consequently, there were many poor and vulnerable Jews in Jerusalem for Passover. Propelled by a religious culture demanding animal sacrifices, these poor Jews bought doves - the least expensive sacrifice but still more than they could afford. Serving as a symbol for a system oppressive beyond doves and money-changers, Jesus became angry and the before mentioned scene erupts.
Most people acknowledge Jesus was a good man who served others when tangible needs arose. It is more uncommon for us to remember him as a prophet and activist, but he was. Jesus recognized the need for individual and systemic transformation to bring about a peaceful, loving world. He acted and spoke out in line with his convictions; thus, those who desire to follow in his way - and the way of Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Bartolome de las Casas, MLKJr. - must do the same. With the Spirit's help, we must discern the sinfulness of our systems and act in the direction of justice and love.
What do you think? Do you believe Jesus was an activist? Keep wondering and listening...
Sit with these words. What do you hear? Repeat them to yourself, out loud. Is this what Jesus did?
Out of what is stirring in you, set a loving intention for this week. My suggestion is to check out a WAYfinding group, where we'll discuss this topic together and set individual intentions. Groups meet...
Wednesday, 7:00p - 9:00p
Wednesday, 7:00p - 9:00p (Mom's Group)
Thursday, 12:00p - 1:15p
Email me for locations. All groups meet in Broad Ripple/SoBro area.