Finding ourselves

Exodus 20:1-17; John 2:13-22

Today is International Women's Day, now this day always happens on March 8, but this is a Sunday. When you look at the web page for today the countries with some of the least amount of events are the United States and Canada. 

Our lectionary today doesn't even bother to note it. We are missing from the story today and as always happens we have to try and read ourselves into the story. It's not unusual for women to have to do this. When we have stories of women they are short. I think just recently we had a one week story from Esther. 

The reason why I want to talk about this is that it usually makes us uncomfortable when we start to talk about inequality. People like to think they are fair and that we have come a long way in recognizing women's rights, racial equality, gender equality and yet there is still a long way to go. Just because something is uncomfortable doesn't mean we don't talk about it. 

Today we have in scripture the Ten Commandments, these at the time, were groundbreaking as opposed to the laws of other countries surrounding the Hebrew people. Not coveting and taking your neighbors things was unusual as was keeping a day of rest. This was different for a people who were slaves and didn't want the same laws as the people who held power over their lives for so long. 

Jesus does the same kind of change with the cleansing of the temple. It is a change of how people looked at the temple as their primary way of worship and where John's gospel was written well after the temple was destroyed. So the community is struggling with how do we worship since it is gone. Something new and yet we are supposed to find God everywhere, in all things. 

So this is where we stand in those times when we feel uncomfortable with talking about inequality. It drives us to those desert places of our lives. Disrupts our illusions of even ground and sometimes presses us even further to places where we feel we have no water, no response, no belief and we can't process one more objection. Words fail us. Yet this is a part of our Lenten experience. We are asked to go to those difficult places. We are asked to wrestle more fully and clear our own minds. So that we may see God more fully and learn God is present in everyone.