From Temple, To Table

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The Temple

Exclusive

Hierarchy

A series of dividers

A veil

Only the High Priest was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies

Only Priest’s were permitted to enter into the inner court.

Only Men were able to enter the outer court.

The court for females existed outside of the area where all the temple work was done.

The Gentiles were only allowed outside the temple. And there was a barricade around the temple which read,

“Jews only. Any Gentiles who go beyond the point will be responsible for their own death.”

No eunuchs were allowed

No unclean

No sick

No lepers

No disfigured

Separation, separation, separation

The Table

Inclusive

A nations of priests

No longer any dividers

The veil has been ripped away

Jesus our High Priest has entered the Holy of Holies once and for all!

No longer division between gender

No longer division in race

All who are sick

All who are “unclean”

All who are broken

All who are disfigured

All are welcome!

All are beckoned!

All those who are thirsty to come and drink!

All those without money and suffering lack are to come and feast on the Bread of Life.

The table is open to EVERYONE. Even if they do not fit in our neat little boxes.

Jesus saw the end of the temple as the beginning of the Kingdom of God. The Table is the subversion of all of our systems, formulas, and boxes. The Table is the reorientation of the world into the Kingdom of Christ. The fall of the Temple was an end to a system of injustice that would never heal wounds and make people new. Sadly, I so often see the Church reverting back to the old system. Building new temples where inequality and prejudice reign supreme. People are excluded based on gender, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, and many other barriers we have built, barriers that are killing people.

A church down the road from my house has championed a sign for weeks that says,

“WHAT GOD CALLS ABOMINATION, SO DO WE.”

Who are we to rebuild what God has torn down? Does Paul not talk about that? I know he does. Let us not transgress God by building a system of exclusion that is literally responsible for an outrageous number of deaths, all because of our political opinions. We find ourselves in the lot of the Pharisees who were literally trying to shut the gates of the Kingdom in the faces of all who did not fit their molds.

When we rebuild temples,

When we exclude the “least of these”,

When Church becomes about our political agenda rather than the politics of the Kingdom,

When we refuse to let women teach,

When we perpetuate the divide between our “church” and that “black church” down the road,

When we neglect the poor, the sick, the orphaned,

When we build fences that say “only white faithful tithing republicans may enter(or whatever else).”,

We heap up blood on our hands and have fallen away from the true faith.
We can do better Beloved! We have to! I am learning more and more the magnitude of what it means to pray “forgive us OUR trespasses.”

THE LORD DECLARES THE TEMPLES WE HAVE BUILT BE BROUGHT TO RUIN.

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