Faith Daily 20th November 2020


Collect for the Week: of Pentecost 24

Almighty God,
whose sovereign purpose none can make void:
give us faith to be steadfast amid the tumults of this world,
knowing that your kingdom shall come
and your will be done,
to your eternal glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen APBA p.603

GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 19: 45-48

Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.

GOSPEL Reflection : Contributed by Virginia Hasker

Jesus has entered Jerusalem, having wept for the city as he entered, because of his knowledge of his impending death there, and the ultimate destruction of the Temple. A very emotional time.

Then he goes into the Temple, built by King Solomon, ‘a house of Prayer’ as set out by the Prophet Jeremiah, but what does he find – a market place where a trade in sacrifices takes place, and people are exchanging money for live animals and birds in order to make live sacrificial offerings to God. An Old Testament practice which is about to be rendered obsolete by Jesus sacrifice of himself on the cross, as a final atonement for the sins of mankind.

As expressed by Patrick Oliver in his book ‘The Freeing of God’ on The Gospel of Luke –
“The prophet Jeremiah said long ago that ‘My house is a house of prayer’ but by setting up your gates, your restrictions, your codes and conditions, you’ve deprived your people of knowing and enjoying God’s spaciousness to all! You worship commercialism, not the Holy One; you adore your financial system, not the Faithful One, and you cling to elitism, not to the Gracious One! Why are you offering sacrifices of bullocks and goats, pigeons and doves – as if God needs them? Who made them in the first place? The Divine isn’t located in this place or that place; wherever you are is where God is.”

Imagine the commotion/mayhem that all of that would have created. Imagine how ‘powerful’ Jesus would have appeared as he challenged the market place traders! Imagine the resentment on the part of those making money in that trade.

Just another challenge to the practices of the Chief Priests, Scribes and leaders of the people.
But the ordinary people listened to his teaching, were inspired by it and the passage says ‘spellbound’. It must have been amazing to be there at the time!

By a man who binds souls
to God.
By a man who knows truth
without being told.
By a man who heals what we
didn’t realise needed healing.
By a man who, it turns out,
is more than a man.
A King indeed.
Of a kingdom not of this world,
and yet part of it.
Of a way to live that is so radical
that the world cringes.

My prayer: keep me spellbound,
O Christ of all life.