Today’s Scripture: Psalm 45, Deuteronomy 9:4-12, Hebrews 3:1-11, John 2:13-22
Today’s Writer: Dr. David Hall
With the Lenten reading today, it is easy to focus on the just wrath of God, and our Lenten fasts as ways that we punish ourselves to preempt God’s punishment of us. Because in this time of reflection it is so easy to see how we are like the hard-headed people of Israel and how, even as the Church, we still rebel against God. Yet one of the greatest lessons I feel I have learned about the wrath of God came to me from the writings of George MacDonald. In his work, Unspoken Sermons, he writes: “When we say that God is Love, do we teach men that their fear of Him is groundless? No. As much as they fear will come upon them, possibly far more. The wrath will consume what they call themselves; so that the selves God made shall appear.” With the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ joining us in the life of humanity, the wrath of God can be seen not as punishment, but as a cleansing. Jesus drove out the money changers not because of hatred for them, but because of his love of the Father’s Holiness in His Temple. In our penitence and self-denial in fasting we, in small ways, walk along with Jesus in his journey to the cross. In His incarnation, Christ became like us, and in our acceptance of the wrath that cleanses us we become more like Christ, and thus more able to live in the intimacy, community, and joy that he calls us to.