Dear Jesus, You asked Your disciples to watch with You. I want to do that, knowing that my life depends upon all that You endured this week. Yesterday in church I was not distracted; I could watch with You. Today, however, work begins again and I cannot multi-task everything expected of me. It’s tempting to let You slip out of my mind until later this week, until Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, but no. I ask for Your Spirit to keep bringing my thoughts back to what You did on this day, this Monday of Holy Week.
Sunday You entered Jerusalem meekly on a donkey but today You show Yourself different. You “entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple.” “You overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.” (Mark 11:15) Jesus, what brought this on? Religious people did, at least outwardly religious people. That they sold sacrificial animals and exchanged currency for offerings wasn’t wrong. That they did this in the Temple, in the Court of the Gentiles, that’s what angered You. They crowded out people who needed to come to the Temple and to Your Father. “It’s our church,” the religious must have thought. “It’s not for those people.” So you became angry, righteously so, and quoted Scripture, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations?’” (Mark 11:17; Isaiah 56:7)
Jesus, when we keep people away from you today, recall us to Your unlimited love for all people. When our business crowds out our witness to the welcoming Father, remind us to love You with all our being at all times. When the church is so preoccupied with its ways of offering sacrifices of worship and praise that others feel unwelcome, remind us that You are not only the mild Jesus of Palm Sunday but also the righteously angered Son of God. And then, forgive us. Make us holy this week. Amen.