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Who Let the Doves Out?


This last year has been a difficult one and our emotions have been all over the place. One emotion that can surface easily is anger. How do we know when our anger is sinful or righteous? When is righteous anger the correct response to a difficult situation?


Enjoy this brief excerpt from Sharing Stories of Jesus with Children as well as my reflection and scripture reference.



Temple Trashed

Sounds of moaning animals

trapped within a cage.

Merchants holler loudly

foul smells an outrage.

The temple at Passover

changed and furthermore

becomes a marketplace

just a dirty, outside store.

With a whip in hand

Jesus nears the place,

frustration mounting

fury on his face.

Tables are toppled

he shouts, “Get out”

animals scatter

children pout.

He hurdles a statement

many ignore

“Temple destroyed,

three days restored.”

It is a prediction

how his life will end

in three days

he will rise again.


If you enjoyed this poem click on the books link within this website for easy access to purchasing Sharing Stories of Jesus with Children. God Bless You.


Reflection:


When I think about Christ, I picture him with extraordinary patience and love. As I read the story of the temple trashed by Jesus, I saw another side of him. He was angry as he witnessed his temple of prayer being turned into a “den of thieves” and he reacted with righteous indignation or anger as he cleansed his father’s house.


Jesus had traveled with his disciples to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. There were 300,000 or more pilgrims who had done the same. The money changers were exchanging Greek and Roman coins for Jewish shekels to be used to purchase sacrificial animals. Poor widows were being taken advantage of as they were made to purchase doves for sacrifice. The reverent temple was now a loud, dirty, marketplace void of any reverence and Jesus reacted. He formed a whip and drove everyone out of the temple.


What is the difference between righteous anger and our emotion of anger? Righteous anger is a reaction to the mistreatment, unjust or malice treatment of another. It is not sinful. I believe many of us have experienced this emotion during the last year. Anger is bitterness, pride and selfishness that leads to sin when others are hurt and not forgiven. It is important to assess our anger reaction to a situation and decide if it is sinful or righteous.


Once again our Lord knows our heart and displays empathy for, he too has experienced emotion and reaction to his circumstances. And yet we still receive forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Amazing!


Matthew 21:12-14


12Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13"It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it 'a den of robbers.'" 14The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.


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