Web Meditation 12 March 2009
I was in a Eucharist, yesterday, with fellow directors of young adult internship programs and other church leaders. The gospel passage was the story of Jesus purifying the temple, turning over the money changers tables and running off the animals. Instead of a sermon, the facilitator asked us to examine ourselves. She asked us what furniture needed thrown of the temple of our hearts?
Now, I do not like being purified anymore then the next guy. I do not like looking at my faults, and I definitely do not want to re-arrange the well organized furniture in my temple. I do not think my emotions on the subject are unique. None of us wants to feel bad about ourselves, and examining our hearts, confessing our sins, having our souls purified by God could make us feel full of shame. However, that was not the intention of the exercise, just like it is not the intention of lent to be demoralizing. Rather we go through our internal junk to make room for God in our hearts. This open space gives God room to remind us how much God loves us, to remind us that we are beloved.
So, I opened up to the question she asked us. I wondered what I needed to get rid of and once I realized it then I had to confess it. I, once again this lent, must let go of MY desire to find MY way and make MY name; so I can follow THE way and serve in THE name. It was important for me to confess this because that is an act of relinquishment. A non-confessed issue is a held one. A confessed problem is shared. It is no longer privately possessed by me once it is public knowledge.
Now, I don't think we have to stand up in church and specifically announce our darkest mistakes. But we do on a weekly basis make a public and communal confession. This public confession and public reception of God's absolution allows us to step out in the world again with God our hearts.
Question for the day:
What furniture in the temple of your heart needs tossed out?
This meditation is also posted on the website of the Church of the Resurrection.