Asbury United Methodist Church
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March 26, 2018

Today is Monday of Holy Week!  Technically we began Holy Week yesterday on Palm Sunday by observing Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

          But, you are probably wondering what Jesus did the next day…on Monday.  Well, he was a busy fellow on Monday.  Jesus had a lot of ground to cover before that dark day later in the week that we call Good Friday! 

          Jesus cleansed the temple on Monday.  Scoundrels and charlatans had converted the Temple into a literal den of thieves.

          These crooks were cheating the homecoming Israelites who’d journeyed to Jerusalem from far and wide to observe Passover. 

          The swindlers were paying pennies on the dollar for currency exchanges so the travelers could buy food and animals for sacrifice offerings. Jesus erupted.  The text is quite revealing.

          Monday was also the day he cursed the fig tree.  (See Mark 11:12-25.)  It makes no sense at first until we realize this act was symbolic.

          Both the Temple cleansing and the fig tree curse had at least one thing in common. God designed both the Temple and the fig tree to produce abundant fruit for the Kingdom.  

Neither were doing so.  Both incurred the ire of Christ.

          It is clear Jesus is attending to some unfinished business.  Time is running out on him.

          Time may be running out on us too.  We never know.   

          “This very night your life will be demanded from you (Luke 12:20b NIV).”

          Maybe today is a good day to look at our own house and see if there are some things that we need to set in order.

          What provoked my thinking on this matter was in discovering an old obituary that I had on hand for some reason.  Eight years ago, a former co-worker passed away.

          I remember her well.  She was what you might call a real Bible- thumper.

          She could quote Scripture ‘til the sun went down; and, she could point a wretched finger in a face and shake it with the best of them.

          But what I remember most was the story that I saw of her life!  And, it was a story that I simply had no desire to be part of or to live out!  

          Her life seemed to be a lonely, bitter, joyless existence.

          When I reread the obituary, all I could think of was that she was so judgmental in this life that I hoped she found what she was looking for in the next one.  And, I hoped that heaven was good enough to suit her. 

           But, any time we point a finger, we have four more pointing back at ourselves!  I shouldn’t really judge the judger!  I then become the judger!

          So, maybe today is a good day to pause and reconsider the story that is our life!  What will folks say about us when we’re gone?  That’s a sobering thought!

          Let’s just face it, everyone tells a story with their life!  Sometimes our stories can harm our witness! 

          I keep thinking that if we claim we are in Christ but show no joy, we lie.  Shouldn’t joy be our true testimony?

          Today is a good day to reexamine the story that we are telling the world with our lives and consider if maybe we need to do a revision.

          Today may be a good day to write a new script!  What if…what if we decided to rewrite our story so that our lives become irresistible to others who are living among us?  

           What if others saw us living out the joy of a Christ-filled life and then decided to become like us?

           The good news is that because of what Christ did for us…we can…we can always rewrite the script!  (Insofar as we are breathing!)

          Some things to think about on Monday of Holy Week!

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