Palm Sunday, April 9

Jesus Cleanses the Temple
Matthew 21:12-17

Today’s scripture describes the day after Jesus makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when Christ fulfills what is said in Isaiah 56.7, “For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples”. He healed the blind and lame who came to Him, and cleared out the Temple of those who were making it a place of profit and greed. It is significant that the area that was being used by the money changers was the Court of the Gentiles. It is more significant, I believe, that Christ used this time to demonstrate not only His justifiable wrath but, more importantly, also His compassion, by healing people.

In this scripture I am reminded of the quiet of the churches I have attended and the reverence I felt in those spaces. It is jarring to think of the noise of the animals and money changers in the temple as Jesus entered it. This was a place designed as a place of sanctuary from the secular world, a place for true worship and communion with God. Jesus’ two acts, cleansing and healing, set right what had been defiled by human greed and arrogance in God’s house. I am lifted up because it makes clear to me that God came down to earth to cleanse and to heal, and that His church should be a place of worship and healing for all people who will come to Him.

Stepping Out in Lent –This Lent, I hope you will reflect not only on the beauty of St. Peter’s Church, but also on the need to bring healing and fellowship to our community.

Author – Frank Platt is married to Carol Barr Platt and has a daughter and two sons. He began serving God while in the United States Marine Corps as a lay leader for the Bishop of the Armed Forces. After retiring from the Corps and moving to Tallahassee, he served as a LEM in several local parishes. He and Carol have been active in small groups and currently serve St. Peter’s as LEM’s at the 5:00pm service.