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'It is a long way to heaven from here'

'It is a long way to heaven from here'

Monday April 11

A reflection for Monday of Holy Week, by the Rev Roddy Hamilton


Luke 19:45-48

Going into the Temple he began to throw out everyone who had set up shop, selling everything and anything. He said, “It’s written in Scripture,

My house is a house of prayer;
You have turned it into a religious bazaar.”

From then on he taught each day in the Temple. The high priests, religion scholars, and the leaders of the people were trying their best to find a way to get rid of him. But with the people hanging on every word he spoke, they couldn’t come up with anything.


Reflection

Standing on this pavement
Within the temple,

Is a roadway of sorts, to heaven,
But it feels a long way from here.

There is silence now,
But only after the shouting,

Only after the doves have been set free
And the coins have jarred and tables crashed.

Only after the echo has waned.
The ancient walls have never seen the like…

Silence:
Enough to hear the crack shattering the institution.

You walked in here this morning,
Brandishing the intent of heaven.

But will you be allowed to walk out
Having made your protest?

For you have crossed the line.
You have given them an excuse.

This event will close in around you.
Your holy purpose will be used against you.

Your words may convict them
In the ears of heaven,

But in the ears of the world
Your words convict you.

This roadway has only one direction now,
And it is a long way to get to heaven from here.


Prayer

O, Dear Lord,
Your temple moment!
May we know such indignation and outrage
Against that which religion corrupts,
And uses to bind the least.

May we be angry beside you
When the kingdom is replaced by the church,
And the gospel by government,
And love is broken,
And compassion eroded,
And vision is gone,
And status quo remains.

May we stand in this moment with you,
And look around at what our faith has become,
And choose
The side we will take.

Amen


The Rev Roddy Hamilton is minister of New Kilpatrick Parish Church, Bearsden


Holy Week Reflections
Palm Sunday: Silence is not a gift the stones will give


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