The Spirit Calendar
A Weekly Devotional from the Connecticut Conference United Church of Christ
February 26, 2018
This is the last edition of The Spirit Calendar. Beginning Monday, March 5, a new devotional called Starting With Scripture will be published. This new series of reflections features the authors who have shared their wisdom and insight through the Spirited Wednesday devotions for many years. Subscribers to the devotional emails who have received these two publications in the past will automatically begin receiving Starting With Scripture on Monday.
This week's author is Jennifer Kronholm Clark, Program Director for Silver Lake Conference Center.
Scripture: John 2:15-17 (The Message)
Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!”
I don’t get into arguments on Facebook very often. But, sometimes, it happens. I’m usually triggered by someone targeting a disempowered population. This time, the target was people who receive food assistance from the government. The meme that was posted suggested that sending boxes of food was a great idea, and if they recipients didn’t like it, “they should get off their a**es and get a job like everyone else.”
So what does that have to do with dove merchants? I was confused by that part of the scripture, so I looked it up. Turns out, if you were poor and didn’t have money for the traditional lamb sacrifice, you could substitute two doves. The dove merchants at the temple were targeting the poor, benefiting from those who already have little.
This scripture is famous for being the one time we see Jesus angry, and his anger is directed at those taking advantage of the poor. As a Christian trying to follow Jesus, I take a little bit of comfort in his display of anger here. I don’t usually think of anger as being a useful tool in leading a Christian life, but this passage shows how anger for the right reason can help bring attention to injustice.
The hard part is channeling that anger into something more productive than a Facebook argument.
Jesus, help me to be angry for the right reasons. Help me to channel that anger into useful action. Amen.
Special Prayer Request:
- The family and friends of the Rev. Patricia (Sommers) Harwick, formerly an associate conference minister for the CT Conference, who died on January 27.
Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:
Church of Christ Congregational
Sara Krhla – P
First Congregational Church of Granby, UCC
Virginia A. McDaniel - P
Rebecca Brown - CE
South Congregational Church, UCC
Dennis Moon - SP
Sandra Fischer - AP
Dawn Marie Karlson - AP
Second Congregational Church, UCC
R. Maxwell Grant - SP
Shawn Garan - AP
Jessica Stanciu - CE
Alexander Constantine - MM
Lisbeth Lloyd - MM
First Congregational Church of Griswold UCC
Edythe Steele - P
Sue Curtis - MM
The Spirit Calendar:
February 26, 2018
Jennifer Kronholm Clark.