Lenten Devotional: Tuesday, March 12

Psalm 45Psalm 47Psalm 48; Deuteronomy 9:4-12Hebrews 3:1-11John 2:13-22

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days and I will raise it up.” John 2:19

Since I was a young child in Sunday School, I have been captivated by the story of Jesus “clearing the temple”. Initially, I took it very literally, and the scene held a vivid picture in my mind. In reading that passage in later years, I see so many other metaphors—for example, the “temple” could be seen as our physical bodies that we are misusing and that must be restored. Or maybe this represents a “call to social justice” that is just as relevant today as it was when John first recounted the story.

However, a more personal metaphor comes to my mind as I write this—one that comes from my many years of experience as a Nurse caring from people from all races, religions and walks of life. In over 40 years both as a Nurse and, later, as a Nurse Practitioner working in Hospice, it was my privilege to attend hundreds of deaths. Many of those were gentle passings but others, sadly, were tumultuous events surrounded by pain and despair. For me, the most sorrowful deaths occurred when there was no family available, especially when that isolation arose out of anger or hurt.

I think this reading can be a parable for taking action on your family. Toss out trivial conflicts that can seriously weaken the underlying structure and instead, repair that framework and make it even stronger. “Family” is not defined by material possessions but by Love –a reflection of the love that is shown to us by our lord Jesus and, like His love, it transcends death.