This Sunday you may encounter two significant passages from the Scriptures. In the Old Testament the Lectionary has chosen the giving of the Ten Commandments to Israel. This was the first step in God’s plan to turn the newly liberated slave-people of Israel into a God-reflecting community. The commandments were not meant to restrict the people. They were instructions to help them live in freedom—freedom from all of the oppression, idolatry and fragmentation of their lives in Egypt. The first four commandments called for love of God and the last six called for love of one another. Together the commandments were ten invitations into the freedom of love.
In the Gospel reading from John that is set for this week, we discover what happens when we choose slavery over freedom. Here Jesus overturns the tables of the moneychangers and animal sellers in the Temple, because they were operating corruptly, and the priests were getting a kick-back. The Temple was supposed to be the centre of Israel’s liberated national and religious life, but it had become a centre of oppression, corruption and exploitation. Jesus’ shocking upsetting of the whole system was a prophetic act calling God’s people back to the liberation of love.
Unfortunately, we all have a tendency to choose slavery over freedom, to choose judgement, injustice and self-interest over love. This week the Daily Worship readings will be challenging us to live as free, loving followers of Christ.
To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.