We’re so close to Easter y’all! And that means that Lenten retreats and parish missions are in full swing to help us prepare our hearts for the Easter season.
At a recent staff retreat, someone shared a comparison between our lives and Jesus’ clearing out of the temple. Remember those verses?
15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” – Mark 11: 15 – 19
This co-worker of mine shared how sometimes Jesus does this same cleaning out of our temples (1 Corinthians 6:19), even if it means driving everything unclean out of our lives with cords and whips. Times like those can seem hopeless and fearful, but Jesus does this to give us more, and to bring hope into every corner.
I don’t know about you, but when I think about hopeless situations I almost always think of Job. If there was anyone that deserved a grande frappuccino it was that guy. Even with such loss and suffering, some very encouraging verses are spoken, encouraging us to purge our lives of all that is unclean, not because we somehow deserve to suffer, but to make room for good. Take a look at Job 11: 13 – 19:
“If you set your heart aright and stretch out your hands toward him,
if iniquity is in your hand, remove it, and do not let injustice dwell in your tent,
Surely then you may lift up your face in innocence; you may stand firm and unafraid.
For then you shall forget your misery, like water that has ebbed away you shall regard it.
Then your life shall be brighter than the noonday; its gloom shall become like the morning,
And you shall be secure, because there is hope; you shall lie down and no one will disturb you.”
That’s what this Lent is all about: setting our hearts right, cleaning all of the iniquity and injustice out of our lives, and stretching our hands out toward Him.
To help me focus on all of the hope provided to me, here’s my scripture memory verse for the next two week:
“And you shall be secure, because there is hope; you shall look round you and lie down in safety; you shall lie down and no one will disturb you.”
Job 11: 18 – 19
If you’d like to follow along with your own scripture memory verse, feel free to pick something short and easy to remember, and share it with everyone below.