Our Quest for Faithful Presence

Dear St Luke’s,

Palm Sunday is this weekend, inaugurating Holy Week.  We’ll gather in the narthex to take up palm branches before processing together into our sanctuary for worship.  As you know we have a Holy Friday service at 7:00PM with our Easter service on Sunday; followed by an Easter Egg hunt for the kids with coffee and pastries for all.

In Matthew’s Gospel, tucked between Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and his unjust arrest and execution as an enemy of the Roman Empire we find the story of Jesus flipping over the tables of money changers in the temple.  That must have been an amazing sight to witness!  Jesus was so gutsy! 

Picture a crowded market-like atmosphere.  In walks Jesus.  And Jesus starts telling people to get out, and proceeds to flip over tables of the venders and money changers.  As if that weren’t enough, then Jesus welcomes into that temple courtyard the people who usually denied entry… people who were blind or lame.  He welcomes them in… and heals them.  And then the kids start shouting their support of Jesus.  It must have been quite the scene!

Jesus’ “inverted-Caesar-like” entry into Jerusalem was – in part – a protest against the oppression of Rome, and Jesus flipping the table of the temple money changers was – in part – a protest against the oppression of Religion.  Jesus was filling table, and the status quo.

As you may aware, there is a growing movement to incorporate “Table Turning” into the observation of Holy Week.  It’s a reclaiming the subversive tradition of Jesus in the public sphere, with an intentional centering of marginalized voices to tell their own story and define their own identity, while interrupting a culture that allows only the powerful to be heard. 

I am planning to participate in a “Table Turning” event on Holy Saturday (4/8).  At 1:00 PM, the day before Easter, a group of ecumenical followers of Jesus will gather at the immigration detention center in Tacoma to hear stories of our siblings currently being detained, to pray for liberation, and to flip some tables …literally.  You are welcome to participate in this table turning or find your own way of intentionally joining others who are experiencing oppression.

As we move toward the end of our Lenten journey, please remember, that you are loved and you are not alone.

Peace, dwight