Putting things in their proper place
Holy Week and Creation: a comparison
God’s second love song for his creation
40 Blogs of Lent: Day 35
The first chapter of the Book of Genesis is theology, but not theology as we know it. It is not the theology of learned people using the academic language for academic people, nor is it a historical account. It is certainly not science. What it is is a statement of God of his love for the universe he created. “God saw that it was good.”
This is God’s love song for creation.
There is a correlation with the events of Holy Week, from Jesus entering into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to being in the tomb on the following Saturday. It is not a perfect correlation, but there is enough similarity to make looking at it interesting. The events of Holy week fall into line with the love song of God for creation.
This is Jesus’ love song for the earth.
The earth was without form and void before God created the heavens and the earth, it says at the very beginning if Genesis. Here God works on the chaos and starts putting things into order.
The waters which were chaotic are separated, order begins to form out of chaos.
I am living with the chaos of the Russian roulette of getting something out of the freezer. Who knows what it might be? Who knows how chaotic menu planning will become as the seclusion period continues? (I say this on the day I started prepping this series of blogs, Tuesday 24th March, just six days into my COVID-19 isolation period of 12 weeks.) But we know that God is a God who works through the chaos. God is a god of order. God is a god of love who sings his love song over creation.
Jesus entered the Temple and overthrew the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the pigeon-sellers. This seemingly anarchistic act looks like creating chaos but is exactly the opposite, Jesus is putting things back into their proper place. The court of the Gentiles was the place in the Temple where non-Jews could worship, or at least they could if their place in the Temple was not occupied by a market. The market came between men worshipping God and God himself. To give people access to god the junk in the wat, the market, had to go.
Some Christians use a formula when deciding their actions WWJD, What Would Jesus Do. If you use this formula you have to include the option of something as forceful as drive out the market traders. The term used to drive out, ἐκβάλλω ekballō in the Greek is the same word used for Jesus driving out or casting out demons. It takes force.
Yesterday I spoke about the light of Jesus coming to the throne prepared in our hearts for him by God. But what if that place is occupied? The throne of our hearts may be occupied by family, job, wealth, reputation or a whole number of things. Jesus has to put things back into order by driving these things out, often leading to an internal struggle as these things fight back. We need to let Jesus clean out the junk, the stuff that comes between us and God.
Putting things in order is an act of creation. In theological terms it is called renewal, Jesus is in the business of renewal. We need to ask the Holy Spirit into our lives to renew us. To clean us out, not just once but over and over again as we accumulate a lot of spiritual junk over time. At least I am assuming you do because I certainly do.
God can work through the chaos of the COVID-19 crisis. God is active in chaotic times to bring back order. God can be trusted to do this, do not be afraid.
Are you willing to let Jesus, through the Holy Spirit he sent to us, renew us, put things in their correct place and drive out the junk from our hearts?
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. 19 And when evening came they went out of the city.
Mark 11:12–19 ESVUK