The Cleansing

Lent 3, John 2:13-22, Luke 12:32

 If he came to our churches on Sunday
 to be awkwardly greeted as stranger
 would he fashion a whip for our cleansing,
 would we cringe from his anger as danger?

 Would he drive out conservative? liberal?
 or upend those who balance on fences?
 What offence might he take, at what practice?
 Would he shake up our pews or our senses?

 Would he tear up my poems and sermons,
 say, “You fiddle while so much is burning!”?
 Would he throw out projectors or prayer books,
 call for change or a zealous returning?

 No, I hope he would gather us round him,
 knowing how we are raw and confounded,
 how we’re shaken and cast down by failure,
 how we fear that our death knell is sounded.

 He will say, “Little flock, don’t be fearful,
 for the kingdom will keep coming nearer,
 and your efforts and gifts won’t be wasted:
 what you lose is renewed and made clearer.

 For the pattern of Easter is central:
 out of death comes abundance of living;
 that’s the secret of all new creating.
 Nothing’s lost from our loving and giving.

 See my body in people not buildings!
 Know I’m with you in doubts and believing!
 Stir up zeal for compassion and justice!
 Learn to listen and wait for receiving!

 So my brothers and sisters, keep hoping!
 Seek the way and the truth, open-hearted,
 and be ready for future unfolding!
 I am in you: we cannot be parted!”

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