by Deacon Selina
The Cleansing of the Temple by El Greco 1600, in the National Gallery in London.
This painting speaks to me of the continuation of Jesus' own manifesto of overthrowing the old order. This was clearly spoken of in the Magnificat, the Beatitudes and in his reading of Isaiah 61.
The Magnificat says:
My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me -- holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.
Truth be told, Jesus, there are lots of tables that need overturning in our lives.
Beneath the veneer of respectability, the tidy rows and neat regulations
hide dark addictions and angry judgments, hungry greeds, and heartless rejections.
We know the pain -- and so do those around us -- of keeping up the façade.
What a relief it would be to have it all upset, smashed, scattered and destroyed.
So, perhaps, Jesus, today you could pay us a visit, and help us to radically rearrange
the furniture of our lives.
By Revd John van de Laar, Methodist Minister (South African)
All Saints Methodist Church
There is free parking in our car park behind the Church in Dorchester Crescent.