I’ve just started a regimen of clean eating which has created a bit of discomfort, to say the least. It reminded me of the scripture in I Corinthians 6:15 where Paul tells us that our bodies are God’s temple. Because there are facets of this clean eating program that are related to cleansing that reminded of Jesus’ work of cleansing the temple in Jerusalem in John 2:15-17.
I was encouraged recently to put myself “in the moment” when reading the Bible, watching the characters and the action with my mind’s eye. I’ve been guilty of reading the familiar stories without thinking about them. In the past, my usual quick read would be something like this: Jesus with a rope and a fury clearing out the temple area where sacrifices were bought, money was exchanged for the “right stuff” and who knows what else was going on. He was pretty mad.
Today I took the time to envision how chaotic the whole thing must have been. He turned tables over. The bright clink of coins must have gotten the attention of everyone there. Was there a flurry of activity as hands of passersby tried to grab the rolling and clattering coins, shouting with glee at their unexpected good fortune?
The large animals were set free. What chaos did that create as the owners dashed after them while the hearts of the freed animals drove them this way and that – seeking the wide open spaces and freedom. Just imagine meeting a galloping bull on your way for a coffee at your favorite sidewalk café!
Bird cages were opened allowing doves to escape, no doubt flying in a panic looking for a safe perch. The flutter of their wings must have added to the confusion. Birds flying and swooping frantically.
Jesus in the middle of it all, eyes blazing, shouting and brandishing the whip, chasing people every which way. Imagine the energy and strength he was displaying in this totally-unheard-of-before activity. It must have been really scary and really magnificent all at the same time.
Then I thought about the clean-up. This was going to be a messy day for some people.
For me to stay with this healthy/clean eating program, I am going to have to let a lot of things go. Some of the cravings I am going to have to drive out of my mind (where’s my whip?!). The cost of organic food is going to remind me of coins clinking on the stone floors of the temple. It’s going to be a sacrifice. But the effort to make my body (temple of the living God) clean and healthy will bring many rewards.
The Lord is in the process of cleansing my body, getting rid of poisons and additives that I’ve eaten for years. He is meeting resistance from old habits and a stubborn will. My heart knows I must change. I’m a long way from finished, so pray for me.