Tuesday of Holy Week
Jesus in the temple is the Holy Disruptor. Entering Jerusalem accompanied by adoring crowds, Jesus makes his way to the Temple where he encounters capitalism gone berserk. His response is disruption of a system taking advantage of those who come to worship God. His criticism is against those who have created a system that milks the poor for profit while rewarding greed and further enriching the wealthy. The temple has become a palace of institutional power. Instead of caring for the vulnerable and the poor as Scripture demands, they have built an institution that preserves privilege for an elite. Instead of curating a house for prayer, the leaders demand to know Jesus’ credentials.
Straight out of Isaiah and Jeremiah, Jesus preaches God’s preferential option for the poor. Jesus turns our focus to the things at the center of God’s attention. God who looks for truth and finds it rare, who seeks out the faithful ones, but finds them to be liars. In Jerusalem for the last time, Jesus weeps for the city at the center of his faith and ours. He weeps for those who turned their backs to God, who embraced ideology and worshiped surface piety but refused to show the love of God for all.
Jesus the disruptive prophet, after the manner of Isaiah and Jeremiah, speaks of blessings for the poor, the vulnerable, the outcast. Jesus the Disruptor resets the focus from external rule-keeping to genuine concern for those who are weaker, disadvantaged, and vulnerable. For these who have been left behind in the scramble for wealth, Jesus promises to turn their shame into praise, and bring healing for those who are broken.
In these most disrupted times, our call is to cling to Jesus the Holy Disruptor, who feeds the hungry, comforts the grieving, retrieves the outcasts, and loves the unlovable. Here we are, answering the call of Christ to love the world, even in the midst of disruption. Our place is here; our time is now to be the face of Christ for everyone who sees us.
I will deal with all your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the LORD.
– Zephaniah 3:19-20 (NRSV)