As we journey together through Lent, Christians throughout Columbia will be sharing their own beautifully written personal meditations. Each will be accompanied by a corresponding scripture reading, and be linked to that passage in the Holy Bible. If you would like to join us on Columbia’s Lenten journey, please submit your personal meditation by email. Especially meaningful submissions will be printed. Let us continue our Lenten journey, day by day, to its glorious culmination on Easter Sunday.
Scripture reading: John 2:13-22
John 2:13-22 is a powerful scripture in which John demonstrates Jesus’ deity and His Passion for reverence and purity of worship through the cleansing of the temple. Jesus is disturbed by the materialism and corruption He discovers taking place within the sanctity of the temple at Passover and is immediately driven to action. While Jesus’ use of a whip to command the merchants and animals to leave His Father’s house is forceful, His actions are in no way cruel. Jesus’ indignation is an indication of His holiness and righteousness. Jesus notes that the disciples are reminded of an Old Testament prophesy that the Messiah will have a zeal for the things of God and will not tolerate irreverence to God. Jesus’ authority is questioned by the Jews, and He is challenged to produce a ‘sign’ to validate His actions. Jesus responds by telling the Jews that they will destroy the temple and in three days He will raise it up. The Jews did not understand Jesus, as they were more concerned about material things than about spiritual truth. After Jesus, crucifixion and resurrection, the disciples remembered His response to the Jews, and it further deepened the disciples’ belief in the Scriptures and in the Word of Jesus Christ.
Three important themes are evident in this passage, and serve to remind us how Jesus models for us what God desires in our personal relationship with Him. The first is God’s desire for us to engage in pure and sacred worship. Just as the business of religion interfered with the sanctity of worship in the temple, we are susceptible to the ‘busyness’ of life diminishing the purity of our hearts and the priority and reverence that God desires and deserves. The passage also reminds us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. It was crucial for Jesus to restore purity in the temple. In the same manner, we must turn our bodies over to God for spiritual cleansing. Finally, Jesus’ cryptic prediction of His death and resurrection and the fulfillment of this miracle before the eyes of the disciples teaches us to treasure God’s Word with patience. While we may not immediately understand the meaning of God’s Word and Will in our lives, God will reveal His meaning to us in His perfect timing.
St. Martin’s in the Fields and St. David’s
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia Prayer Chain: Tuesday, February 19
In our prayers: Elizabeth Jean Emerson, Mary Reames, Richard Smith, Claudia Strattman, Jennifer Williams, Betty Jo Carson, Gary Davis, Eddie Bolton, Doug and Sharon, John Kelchner, Elizabeth Matthews, Nedrick Griffin, Jennifer Handy, Nancy Stuckey, Annemarie Sullivan, Greg and Lisa Steele, Dean Timothy Jones, Linda Langford, Marty Fritz, Harriet Hancock, Tommy and Robby Palmer, Patty and Ted Mac Laughlin, Janet Long, Bobby Wilson, Debbie and Pat Barry,Patrick and Patricia Barry, Jordan Hill, Doris Clevenger, Charles Sigel, Bob Davis, John Whatley, Nancy Zuckerman, Charles Davis Sr., Bill Carter, Betty Peavy Frick, Joye Cantrell, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Jerry Callahan, Norman Masters
Special prayers for Mary Ellen’s four-year-old grandson, Joseph Patrick, who is fighting cancer
In memoriam: Dr. G. Fitzhugh Beazley, Isaac Cochran Jr., Edwina Graham Hagler, Ruth Smith Holland, Robert Clarence Harper Sr., Mary Louise “Tootsie” Jordan Crouch, Iona Borelli, Jane Weathersbee Register, Edna Marie Higgins Upchurch
Our prayers are with: the elderly, the homeless, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress, our police officers and firefighters, all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box or email me.