It's All About Me
By Phil Wood
Scripture: Mark 11:15-17
One of the big Aha Moments I've had over my years studying Scripture is that, basically, the entire Bible is about me. Well, it's about God, and Jesus, but after that it's about me. Now, before you start with, "Oh boy, here we go again, it's all about Phil, everything is always about Phil, now even the whole Bible is about Phil," consider this.
I believe the entire Bible is also about you. Whether it's telling a story about millions of Jews in the desert, or about any of the singular biblical characters who populate its pages, or about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, himself, the story is a message from God about whoever may be reading it. In your case, that would be you. In my case, that would be me.
Jerusalem is me. The wall of Jerusalem is my body. The temple is my heart. The whole Bible, from beginning to end, is the story of God and the relationship he wants to have with me. Like the Jews, I keep turning my back and wandering away. He keeps calling me, drawing me back. He keeps trying to show the Israelites how important it is that he be at the very center of the loving community he's trying to build. He keeps trying to show me how important it is to keep him at the very center of my being.
Now, whenever I open my Bible, I stop and reflect for a few moments before starting to read. I need to be still, and know the great I Am is about to speak directly to me about something in me that I, personally, need to think about. This has made a huge difference in the way I read the Bible.
This morning I read the passage from Mark 11 about Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers and driving folks out of the temple who were buying and selling there. "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?'" Jesus asked. "But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'"
In my former days I thought this was a story about the righteous anger of Jesus and how wicked it is to do unholy things in the place that has been designated for prayer and communion with the Holy of Holies. But this morning I remembered the temple is my heart.
O, my God! I have allowed so many unholy distractions to clutter my heart, day in and day out. Politics. Worldly desires. Social media ramblings. And on and on and on. Father, overturn the tables and benches, drive out the buyers and sellers of distraction and the robbers of my soul. Make my heart a place of prayer as you have always intended. Make my heart a place of communion with you. In Jesus name, amen.