Lectionary Commentary: March 11, 2012

February 20th, 2012

Psalm 19

This text details the glory of God. It is evident in nature, in relationships, in knowledge, and in earthly treasures. Throughout the psalm, God’s glory surrounds us and all that we know. It seems that God’s glory is used as the umbrella, if you will, under which so many other godly attributes reside. We benefit from God’s law, God’s precepts, God’s ordinances, and God’s grace. We become increasingly aware of our own unworthiness in the presence of God as the psalm continues. Perhaps that is why the closing is so fitting. We request that everything we say and do in word and deed be pleasing and acceptable to God, for we know we cannot accomplish that on our own. We are recipients of amazing grace through our rock and redeemer.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

The writer of First Corinthians knows the craziness of the cross. We hang crosses in our churches, in our homes, and we wear them around our neck and pin them to our clothes. It is crazy if you think about it. We wear a symbol of torture and death as jewelry. It is, as the text calls it, foolishness. But it is only foolishness to those who do not know the full story. The cross receives new meaning through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Instead of being only a symbol of death and torture, it turned into a symbol of conquering death. The cross could not keep our God silent; it could not keep Christ in the grave. The idea really is foolish; it is crazy. But so is the idea of resurrection, of salvation through grace and faith, and a God sacrificing a son for sinners.

John 2:13-22

In this emotional and active text, Jesus “cleans house.” He cleans his Father’s house, the temple. What was supposed to be a sacred and worshipful temple had become a marketplace full of animals, money changers, and capitalists. All of that had to be removed to make room for its original intent, worship. I wonder if this act of cleaning house in the temple also mirrored what Jesus was feeling on the inside. Was he feeling the need to emotionally “clean house” to prepare for the Passover meal with his disciples? The text provides for us an example of the hard work preparing for high holy moments can demand. Lent is no different. This is the time for our most difficult emotional, personal, and spiritual introspection in preparation for Holy Week.

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