Today’s Readings for the Daily Office
Psalm 20, 21:1-7(8-14)(Morning)
Psalm 110:1-5(6-7) 116, 117 (Evening)
Making Room for God
As I write this, I’m finishing up a move and looking at a room full of boxes. I can’t possibly keep all these items, and I’m excited for the new house, but it’s oh-so painful to let go of the old and familiar. I am not a member of the decluttering movement.
In perhaps the Old Testament’s most famous story, God is the ultimate declutterer. The world has become corrupt and God’s solution is to cleanse it with a flood. This depiction of God seems violent and makes me uncomfortable. As I often do, I decide to sidestep the Old Testament so I can focus on the kinder, more forgiving character of Jesus.
But that trick doesn’t work today… In John, I find Jesus in much the same mood as God in the Noah story. The temple has become corrupt, and so Jesus makes a whip of cords to drive the money changers out. Then, he preaches about destroying the entire temple itself.
All major religions teach that destruction and death are necessary for growth and rebirth. Both of today’s stories point toward Christianity’s greatest story: that of Christ’s death and resurrection. Being a Christian requires a commitment to follow him.
The Bible doesn’t pretend that change is painless. Rather, it’s clear that accepting the change God brings to our lives, or our parishes, is one of the more difficult and painful things we do. But the stories do make it clear that change is necessary — and can result in a new life that is better than one we could ever before imagine.
Written by Adam Call Roberts
Adam has been a parishioner of St. Paul’s since 2009. He attends with his 5-year-old son, Alex, and his fiancée, Jacey. He works as a journalist for 40/20 News.