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16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”  (JN2:16)

A Sermon by The Rev’d Joan Claring-Bould

We may be surprised at the outrage of Jesus as he walks in on the sales of livestock and exchanges of money occurring in the Temple. “He made a whip of cords, and drove all from the temple courts…. He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” This description is more akin to a person completely out of control than to our usual perception of Jesus the teacher and healer.

There must have been an extraordinary reason for this dramatic change in behaviour. And as we read further we discover that Jesus was outraged because when it was almost time for the sacred feast of the Passover, these

People had ignored the sacredness of the Temple and wilfully used it for their ill-gotten financial gain.

Then we get a mention of the real relationship between Jesus and the Temple.

“Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” But the temple he had spoken of was his body.”

St Paul reminds us “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” ( 1 Cor.6 :19)

During the remaining weeks of Lent it may be a good time to look at our own lives, and to reflect on what it is with which we are cluttering our physical, emotional and spiritual lives.

Sometimes we keep our lives cluttered and busy because we are actually frightened of the emptiness of being still. But if we can dare to risk creating space in our hearts, where only we and God can go, we will find it is far from lonely.

Jesus invites us into a place of solitude, a quiet centre, where we can listen to God’s voice. In that quiet space we can discover that being is more important than doing, that our worth is not the same as our usefulness, that our life is not our possession but a gift. We learn that we learn more from God’s grace mercy

and forgiveness than we could if we were self-sufficient and always right, and most importantly that we are the Beloved child of God.

If you are not familiar with this kind of prayer you can begin with a simple phrase which you repeat over and over to still your mind and block out other thoughts. The one I began with was the one below. When I get to the word Be

I try then to just be there in the silence and wait on God.


Heavenly Father, I thank You that You have started a good work in me and I trust You to complete it in the day of Christ Jesus, but there is a part of me that wants to be up and doing things for You, and I find it so difficult to wait for Your timing and await Your leading in my life, and yet I know that this is what You want me to do.

Please help me to learn to quietly wait upon You and to rest in Your love, knowing that you have scheduled every day of my life. Give me the courage and wisdom to be still and to wait quietly, patiently and expectantly knowing that Your timing is perfect and that You know the plans that You have purposed for my life, even though I do not.

Father, I trust You and I love You. I praise and thank You that Your grace is sufficient for me, no matter how lonely my life may be or how mundane the path I am treading. Thank You, that You are with me every moment of the day. Thank You, that You are a faithful God who will complete the good work that You have started in me, in Your time and in Your way. Praise Your name for ever and ever. 



Still my heart so that I may know that you are God, that I may know that you create and sustain my every breath, that you breathe the whole universe into existence every second, that everyone, myself no less than everyone else, is your beloved, that you want our lives to flourish, that you desire our happiness, that nothing falls outside your love and care, and that everything and everybody is safe in your gentle, caring hands, in this world and the next. – Ronald Rolheiser

Prayer for meditation

Be still and know that I am God
(said slowly a few times with eyes closed)

followed by
Be Still and Know

followed by
Be still

and finally