Zeal For Your House

At the age of 23, I had to make a decision to leave a church community that was doing something I felt was objectionable.  Though I hardly crafted a whip and made a scene in the narthex, I did refuse to be complicit in some very real, very destructive, patterns in the congregation.   It was hard to do; and to this day, some friendships are strained.  Others have been lost entirely. 

As I look back in the decade since that time, there were things I could have done differently.  I could have been less strident; though I do not imagine a scenario where I would have stayed in this congregation.  Is this congregation still doing Jesus’ work?  In many ways, yes, of course.  And so am I.  But I must admit that at the time, and still today, I long for more than a truce.  I long for a transformation. explusion-of-moneychangers-luca-giordano-1670

Perhaps the zeal that Jesus speaks of in this coming Sunday’s lesson (John 2:13-22) will consume all of us at one time or another.  Yet I pray that zeal might be productive and not destructive, refining and purifying our desires, so that the truth of the Gospel shines more brightly.

God of all communities of faith: stand in our Temples.  Take inventory of our practices.  Then show us how zeal and love are related.  Amen.