Third Sunday in Lent
Cut off at an intersection, shut down publicly by the management team, insulted by a cheerleading mom, and snubbed by a “so called” friend are just some examples of situations in which someone can push our “anger button.” Such tongue jabs trip the lever on our emotions. We steam. We stew. We brew. We spew. We may even erupt. The emotional and spiritual matrix of anger may sputter over our tongues and unto others. Anger happens now and again.
Today, we join Jesus walking the road through the streets of Jerusalem to the temple court. We encounter Jesus’ fury unleashed upon the temple merchants. We stand stunned and shocked by his rage. So does the court temple.
Anger leaves lasting unproductive and disturbing marks on us as well as others. When we find ourselves at that emotional tipping point, I invite us to step away from the ledge, gather our emotions, walk away from the situation, and settle our heart and mind. This can be very tricky.
Jesus took breaks from the constant fray and grind of ministry. He retreated to a quiet place to find personal solace from the disciples’ personal egos, the edgy conditions of the community, and the political messy moments of the temple. We too must yield to those quiet, lonely places to center our minds and hearts, so that our anger does not overwhelm our loving Christian principles.
Prayer: Lord, may your tender mercy rise up and quell our temper before we speak out of place and regret our words of wrath. Amen.
John Wallace, pastor
First Moravian Church, Dover, Ohio