March 26

Psalm 51:1-18(19-20); Psalm 69:1-23; Lamentations 1:1-2, 6-12;
2 Corinthians 1:1-7
; Mark 11:12-25

“And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold the doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.” Mark 11:15-16

What a scene Jesus created. His anger over the commerce involved in buying and selling sacrificial animals or birds led him to action to correct the insult to God that he could not bear. For God’s Son desires more of our imagination and will than offering sacrifices to the Father. He desires us to clear the way for God’s action in and through us. He desires the restoration of a right relationship between the Creator and the created that would be focused on love, not sacrifices. Jesus’ fury over the money changers illustrates how righteous anger can lead to repentance and reconciliation. After reading this passage, it is hard not to feel remorseful for the times I have allowed myself to settle for a shallow relationship with God, instead of opening my whole heart to Him.

This story is encased in Jesus’ curse of the fig tree, when he discovers that the tree bears no fruit. When our relationship is not right with God, our actions bear no fruit. Jesus’ curse of the fig tree is worth thinking about. Conversely, when we are in right relationship with God and our neighbor, there is hope for God’s will to be accomplished, and for true joy.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. Psalm 51:10-12