When Jesus moved on, those stalls that were turned over would be righted once more, and trade would continue as before. And yet there is something marvellous about an insistence that some things are worth fighting for.
Jesus was fighting for a holy place that speaks to the holy space within us. There is something about that call to a holiness within, that speaks in every age. There is also in the text a sense of an ending. We think that things will last forever. We are wrong.
Forty years after the death of Jesus a generation of Jews would weep for the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. They wept for the absence of their holy place. They did not weep for the loss of the marketplace that had grown about it.
In our time, because of Covid-19, people have lived through long periods of time with no public services for their parish community. It is a cause of great sadness. Like pilgrims of old, people weep – albeit mostly in silence – at the wailing walls of closed churches.
There are things that endure and things that fade away. In our Lenten journey we are asked to look at our path to God, to look at the things that really matter. The enduring image of an angry man in a temple has its own fascination. The image showing that Jesus brought his anger into the sacred place is extraordinary.
As people of faith many of us prefer to leave our anger at the church door. However curious it might appear, there is a place for our anger which is at times the most natural reaction to some situations. Things change in our world much more through anger than indifference. People angered by injustice fight in the belief that things can be different, things can be better. There is a righteous anger, an honest reckoning that looks as God looks at the world.
There are things that endure and things that fade away!