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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, April 2, 2012


Mark 11:12-19
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to find out if it had any fruit. When He reached it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then He said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And His disciples heard Him say it.
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area & began driving out those who were buying & selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers & the benches of those selling doves, & would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as He taught them, He said, "Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’"
The chief priests & the teachers of the law heard this & began looking for a way to kill Him, for they feared Him, because the whole crowd was amazed at His teaching. When evening came, they went out of the city.

The Gospel of Mark is telling us that Jesus rebuked the fig tree for not bearing fruit out of season. Then, he went into the temple and chased out the money changers for "being fruitful," earning money off the sacrifices to God within the Temple wall. He knew that those who changed money into the local currency and those who overcharged for sacrificial birds, were dishonest. It reminds me of the hole-in-the-wall sanctuary, a haven for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Is that descriptive of our personal sanctuary? Do we praise the Lord with one hand and cheat our neighbor, or turn them away when in need, with the other?

And, what about the fig tree? Jesus punished the tree for not providing figs for his nourishment even though it was not the season for harvesting figs. Think about that one. What if Jesus asked if you had witnessed to the blessings God has given you and you said, "Well no, not yet. It isn’t Sunday and my co-workers and members of my bridge club wouldn’t want to hear religious messages. I don’t force my religion on others. I am going to read the scripture in the Easter Sunrise Service though. People seem to like my inflection and delivery."

We are to bear fruit in all seasons and, we will not produce food for the Lord if we are dishonest in our dealings with others. The sanctuary of our heart, if full of the Spirit, has no room for the world’s trappings. The Spirit-filled soul has room for everyone, but only the truth of them. But then, that is what we are called to do, to seek the Truth of God and the Truth that abides in those around us.

Do not dwell on the deceitful ways that those around us pass off to themselves and others as something to be believed. Seek the Truth that resides at their core and they will say, you are the first person who has heard them, who has known them, who has truly loved them. Let us pray:

"Holy Father, God of all, we stand in awe of you. Your name is wonderful and precious, name above all names. As we walk with you toward the cross, I ask that you give me the courage to wholly live in you, so that your Word may live in me. May I see every opportunity to share the miracles you have placed all around me, like diamonds in the grass. Forgive me when I am afraid to speak out for the cause of Christ because I do not deem the time appropriate. May I be brave enough to be a fool for you and never experience my own foolishness. May your Spirit within me seek your Spirit in others and call them unto you. In the name of Jesus, your son and our Savior I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

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