Friday, June 14, 2013

Holy Ground

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”

And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words. Luke 19:41-48

I have just spent the day with the Episcopal Deacons. We began our time together with smudging and were joined by Chief Ken Adams, Mattaponi. He blessed the people with his story of his people and their kind welcome of the first settlers. We were invited to see this world as holy ground, as a place given by God to incredibly compassionate and welcoming people. And we were cautioned that commerce and greed can destroy our holy places and holy people. A storm came up and blew while we gathered and it felt as if the Holy Spirit was affirming all that was said.

Jesus is facing his end times as he enters Jerusalem. He observes how commerce and greed have made the holy places profaned. There is no place for prayer and the presence of God's spirit. Money determined how people interacted with God and others. We are called as people to revive our holy places and to restore honor and respect where it has been taken away. God invites us to be agents of restoration and healing.

Today I ask God to give us the strength to rebuild where life has been broken. May God fill us with the courage and the strength to see the holy in everything and everyone. May we do the work to strengthen our faith so that God's healing and justice surrounds our world, today.

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