Posted: 09 Mar 2012 06:15 AM PST
"The Jews then said, 'This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?'" (John 2:20).
This passage is a wonderful example of how literalism can hold us back from understanding Jesus' true message. When Jesus said he would raise the temple, he was referring to his own body, not the physical temple building, something the disciples would only piece together after Jesus' resurrection.
It's an easy mistake to make. Jesus' audience, living out the structured dictates of their faith, had trouble recognizing this new voice of grace. Jesus chose to speak in metaphors and parables to disrupt their black and white understanding of God and challenge them to discover the rich truths hidden within his words.
We often ask God for signs of grace and miss the ways that these prayers are answered because they become lost in translation. This walk toward Jerusalem is an open invitation to look more closely at our lives and to move away from literalism and other barriers that keep us from embracing Christ's call to us.
When I think of the experiences that have helped me grow the most in my Christian journey, they were the ones in which my ideas of who God is and what God could do were challenged and broadened. To know of God's love is a blessing, but to let God's word truly become manifest in my life requires more from me as a Christian. Jesus understood that when we wrestle with the Word and are active in our relationship with him, we become more closely woven with God.
Listening with these sensitive ears is vulnerable, but it is within this vulnerability that we receive a blessed message. When we worship an experiential Christ who is fully aware of the reality of death, we can acknowledge his grace, and this helps us come into a fuller sense of self and life. We, too, can be resurrected from any pain or death we might experience.
Holy God, teach us how to collaborate with you through prayer and meditation so we can be at the heart of your word. Liberate us through it, and teach us how to become your true disciples of love and light.
David Sisco, member of Marble Collegiate